Flames assistant coach DeKlerk Msakakuona has missed the Council for Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) Senior Challenge Cup following his appointment as Malawi Under-17 national football team coach.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) last week appointed Msakakuona as the junior Flames coach with Peter Mponda as his assistant coach while Enos Chatama is the team manager.
The Flames left for South Africa Cosafa Cup yesterday without Msakakuona.
Coach Ronny Van Geneugden said the former Blue Eagles coach was left behind to start preparations for the Under-17 Cosafa Cup to be hosted by Mauritius from July 21 to 30.
FAM general secretary Alfred Gunda said the technical panel made the recommendation.
He said: “As you are aware, we would like to develop a football philosophy across the board. That is why the senior national team assistant coach is also deployed to the Under-17 team.
“We asked the technical panel to give us their programme regarding what will happen to Msakakuona since the Under-17 team has to start preparations. That is why he has been left behind.”
The draw for the Under-17 Cosafa Cup first round pooled Malawi in Group A, alongside the hosts Zimbabwe and Botswana.
Mauritius and Malawi are the only two sides from the pool who contested for the trophy in 2016.
Malawi made it to the semi-finals after topping their pool following the disqualification of Zambia for fielding ineligible players, but they were narrowly defeated on penalties by Namibia after a 1-1 draw. Malawi striker Peter Banda won the golden boot award.
Group B this year comprises last year’s beaten finalists South Africa, Zambia, Mozambique and Madagascar. n