So this is it. FAM and government have endorsed the hiring of an expatriate to become the next permanent Flames coach.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Walter Nyamilandu and Youth and Sports Minister Enoch Chihana said a joint meeting agreed to hire an expatriate coach by July this year.
They say his immediate task will be to take charge of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations campaign.
Nyamilandu said during a meeting it was agreed that in the long term, a breed of up and coming coaches such as Ernest Mtawali, Patrick Mabedi and Charles Manda will be taken on board to understudy the expatriate.
“We do not have much time, so we expect to start the process of applying for an expatriate coach as soon as possible,” said Nyamilandu.
Asked to justify the move to engage an expatriate coach when records clearly show that locals have performed better than expatriates, Nyamilandu said: “We had the capable tacticians then, but not now. If we had capable coaches, we could not have taken that route.
“We are looking at the long term and the plan that we are doing is about to come to fruition,” he said.
On the procedure of hiring the expatriate, Nyamilandu said: “In liaison with government and FAM technical subcommittee, we will discuss how to proceed, but those are the plans.”
He also disclosed that applications from expatriate coaches continue to trickle in from across the world.
“We now have more than 15 applications from expatriate coaches. Some of them have impressive records,” he said.
Nyamilandu said he could not remember the names off head as he needed to check the file.
Sports Council executive secretary George Jana could not be reached for his comment, but Chihana also confirmed the development.
“Officials from my ministry indeed attended the meeting and briefed me verbally about the outcome. Now, we are just waiting for FAM to present a formal request so that we take it up from there,” said Chihana.
The minister said the inclination is to include the hiring of an expatriate coach in the next budget.
According to The Nation investigations, expatriates that have joined the bandwagon for the Flames job include Zambia coach Herve Renard who inspired Chipolopolo to their maiden Africa Cup of Nations glory last year and former Nigeria coach Samson Siasia, whose contract was terminated last year after failing to qualify the Super Eagles for the 2012 African Cup of Nations.
Dutch international Ruud Krol and Belgian tactician Aad de Mos also expressed interest through agents.