Malawi international midfielder Robert Ng’ambi refused to be introduced as a substitute during the Flames’ Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier against Swaziland which ended 2-2.
This is according to a report on the 2017 Afcon qualifier which Flames coach Ernest Mtawali has submitted to the Football Association of Malawi (FAM).
The report indicates that the Platinum Stars midfielder refused to be thrown in as a substitute in the second half due to a knock and instead, the coach was forced to use Chawanangwa Kawonga.
The report is contrary to what the South Africa-based player told the media soon after the September 6 game that the coach shunned him.
Ng’ambi accused the coach of not using him and other experienced players that were dropped from the squad arguing if they were featured in the game, Malawi could have won.
FAM general secretary Suzgo Nyirenda said he was yet to meet the technical panel to discuss the report.
“Yes, the report indicates that Robert Ng’ambi was supposed to come in as a second-half substitute. But he refused because he had an injury,” Nyirenda said.
The general secretary could not be drawn to disclose the next course of action over Ng’ambi’s outburst.
“I will meet the technical panel on Monday [today] to discuss the Swaziland game report,” Nyirenda said. “I cannot pre-empt everything now. Let me meet the coaches first, then find out what exactly transpired.”
Mtawali yesterday said it would not be ideal to discuss the issue in the media.
“I do not think it will be proper on my part to comment on the issue as I referred it to FAM. Robert himself commented in the press, but on my part I do not think it would be professional to take that path. He is my player and I will find a better way to sort out the matter,” said Mtawali.
In a response to our questionnaire yesterday, Ng’ambi said: “I have understood you, I have nothing much to say. I do not like commenting, it is not my way of doing things.
“I suggest you leave that issue because it won’t change anything. Let bygones be bygones, there are a number of games coming up. Otherwise, it might just complicate things.”
Ironically, Gerald Phiri Jnr who played Ng’ambi’s attacking midfielder position, put Malawi in the lead just after eight minutes.
However, Swaziland equalised in the 17th minute through Felix Bahenhorst. Although Malawi restored the lead through Chiukepo Msowoya, the hosts equalised again through Sabelo Ndzinisa in the 62nd minute.