Malawi national football team coach Ernest Mtawali says he was not given any targets when he was engaged as Flames coach in August 2015.
The coach was reacting to Malawi’s failure to reach quarter—finals at Cosafa Cup after Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Walter Nyamilandu and Flames official sponsors Carlsberg Malawi Limited brands manager (alcoholics) Twikale Chirwa, set at least a top three finish target.
Nyamilandu and Chirwa set the targets when Carlsberg presented K40 million for the team’s participation at the regional tournament but Mtawali has downplayed the team’s failure to achieve the goal.
“Honestly, I don’t know where that came from. The contract that I signed does not set any target. I can show you my contract. It only talks of improved performance of the national team,” said Mtawali.
When asked to summarise the overall performance of his technical panel during the year-long tenure which expires at the end of next month, Mtawali described it as successful.
“You have seen for yourself how the team played at Cosafa Cup. I see a team that will be a force to reckon with in two years,” Mtawali said.
But in a separate interview assistant coach Nsazurwimo Ramadhan described the tenure as disastrous.
“Honestly, our term in office was a failure. We have to accept that we did not do as we were expected. The team’s performance was not satisfying. We failed to qualify for the World Cup and the Africa Cup of Nations. We have also been knocked out of the Cosafa Cup in group stage when last year we won the Plate,” said Ramadhan.
However, the two coaches agree that one year was too short to judge a coach based on targets.
“You cannot expect someone to achieve a lot within a year. That’s unfair,” Ramadhan said.
Asked what will be the next step, Mtawali said he would wait for FAM to make a decision on their future.
“My next match is the July 6 Independence Celebrations friendly. Then we will wait for FAM,” he said.
Mtawali is expected to present a report on the team’s performance at Cosafa Cup as well as the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Zimbabwe where the Flames were hammered 3-0.
Mtawali has been in charge of the team in 17 matches. He has won six matches, drawn three and lost eight. n