Under-17 coach DeKlerk Msakakuona and his Under-20 counterpart Patrick Mabedi are off the hook after Football Association of Malawi (FAM) decided not to take action following the teams’ comical performance at Cosafa Championships in South Africa.
The association made the decision after FAM technical subcommittee’s review attributed the two teams’ failure to qualify for Afcon Youth Championship finals to poor preparations.
The coaches were summoned after FAM president Walter Nyamilandu last year indicated that the association would take drastic measures.
“We are not amused. We will be demanding a full report from the technical team,” he had said.
However, the association’s executive committee meeting held last week took a lenient stand, saying the coaches were not to blame for the poor performance,
FAM general secretary Alfred Gunda said: “We reviewed the teams’ performance and the findings show that we cannot blame the coaches for poor performance. There were several factors that contributed to that, including poor preparationns due to Covid-19.”
He said punishing the coaches for poor performance after the players were on a nine-month break due to Covid-19 would be unfair.
“The coaches only had less than three weeks to prepare. You cannot expect the team to do well under such circumstances,” Gunda said.
However, the GS said FAM was in the process of reviewing the junior teams’ setup so that they do not just prepare for competitions.
He said: “The problem is that before the two coaches were appointed on permanent basis, we only had temporary coaches, who assembled the teams when there was a competition. The coaches were usually attached to clubs.
“This set up is what contributed to poor performance at the regional competitions over the years. But this time, we have permanent coaches that can start planning way before a tournament. Next time they won’t have such an excuse.”
The Under-20 won one game and lost two while the Under-17 failed to win even a single match at the tournament held in South Africa in December.