The Flames were dealt yet another body blow on Friday morning when caretaker coach Eddington Ng’onamo was forced to return home from Namibia following the death of his son ahead of Saturday evening’s 2014 World Cup qualifier against the Brave Warriors.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) chief executive officer Suzgo Nyirenda confirmed the development Friday morning.
“We are greatly saddened to announce the death of the caretaker coach’s son this morning.
“To this effect, we are making arrangements that he should return home immediately.
“It comes as a big shock considering that it will definitely affect the team’s preparations for tomorrow’s [Saturday’s] game,” said Nyirenda.
However, the FAM CEO said as we went to press, he did not have the details surrounding the deceased and the cause of the death.
“We are still trying to get details from the family, but our prayers and thoughts are with the coach and the entire family during this trying time,” said Nyirenda.
He said this means deputy coaches Ernest Mtawali and Patrick Mabedi will be in charge of the team in this Saturday’s game.
Reports from Namibia’s capital Windhoek, state that the mood was sombre in the Flames camp when they got wind of the sad news, but leader of delegation Paul Mzungu said they would try to work on the psychology of the players.
“We had a meeting with the assistant coaches (Mtawali and Mabedi) as well as the captain (Joseph Kamwendo) to see how we can handle the situation,” said Mzungu.
FAM president Walter Nyamilandu also expressed his shock with the development.
“It is a sad development coming at a time when we are preparing for a crucial game on Saturday and we’ll pray for Eddie and the entire family,” said Nyamilandu.