Malawi football is set for a technical review that will culminate in an integrated approach to youth football development and adopt an advanced style of play.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) said in a statement on Tuesday that a consultant will be engaged with funding from world footbll governing body, Fifa, to lead the technical review.
But the development has raised questions on the justification to hire a consultant when the area is the responsibility of the FAM technical director’s (TD).
However, FAM president Walter Nyamilandu justified the decision to bring on board the consultant, saying he will also assess the position of the TD as well.
He said: “The consultant is a person who provides professional or expert advice in a particular field of science or business to either an organisation or individual.
“The consultant will essentially come to evaluate and assess the work of the TD as well.”
Nyamilandu, however, stressed that the consultant will not be involved in coaching.
“It is important to clarify that he will conduct a study and produce a report with recommendations. He is not coming to coach,” he said.
Ironically, immediate past Flames coach Ronny van Geneugden was also tasked with adopting an advanced style of play both at club and national team level.
However, this did not work as his contract was not renewed following a public outcry due to the Flames’ poor performance.
Asked if this time it will work, the FAM president said he is confident the consultant will deliver and that his recommendations will be implemented or “otherwise it will be a waste of time”.
The FAM statement stated: “It is expected that the consultant will engage with various stakeholders to fully assess the country’s technical situation and to understand our needs much better.
“The process of recruiting the consultant is currently underway and we will advise more details as they unfold.”
Commenting on FAM’s decision, football analyst George Chiusiwa applauded the association for embracing reforms in football.
He said: “Some good development towards realising the much-needed reforms in the country’s football. Malawi’s youth football development is indeed riddled with numerous technical and institutional defects and deficiencies at all levels
“We don’t have playing standards or a system, neither do we have a philosophy to identify ourselves with. FAM should be commended for this initiative although we needed this two decades ago.”
However, Chiusiwa advised FAM to ensure the consultative process is meaningful.
“Of course we won’t start from the scratch for we already know the technical shortcomings of our game. Let’s hope the technical review process will be widely, genuinely and meaningfully consultative based on a sound stakeholder engagement strategy,” he said.
Veteran football tactician Yasin Osman said: “I don’t know how FAM settled for a consultant when we have our own people with vast experience who under local football. The other thing is that the consultant will need time to understand the current set-up to be able to execute the changes.”
He also claimed that the issue was never discussed by the association’s technical sub-committee.
Osman said: “I am a member of the FAM technical sub-committee which should have been the first to discuss such a proposal and make recommendations, but we that did not happen.”
The consultant is expected to work for three months from May, a period Malawi will also be playing 2022 Qatar World Cup qualifiers.