Flames coach Ronny Van Geneugden (RVG) will join the Under-17 national football team at Council for Southern Africa Cosafa Cup (Cosafa) Cup in Mauritius after attending a Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) symposium in Morocco.
But the coach, who flew out to his homeland Belgium last week to file his tax returns, will remain in Brussels until August 15, The Nation understands.
RVG joined Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Walter Nyamilandu and general secretary Alfred Gunda in Rabat, Morocco on Monday for a CAF 2017 Africa Cup of Nations assessment.
According to FAM technical director John Kaputa, after the symposium, he will fly to Mauritius to join the Under-17 national football team.
He is expected to return to Brussels after the Cosafa Under-17 tournament and will only be back in Malawi on August 15.
“It is the country’s requirement for all Belgian citizens to file their tax returns between the months of June and July,” he said.
RVG’s absence comes just four months after his appointment.
Asked if this will not affect the coach’s mission to introduce a new philosophy from lower league to national team, Kaputa said RVG’s assistants will continue with the project.
“That is why he has assistants [Gerald Phiri and DeKlerk Msakakuona]. I am also available to monitor the progress of his mission,” he said.
“The coach would have been here if not for the tax issues. Failure to go back to his country and sort out the issue may result in fines.”
However, Belgian tax office website states that residents must file tax returns by June 30 while non-residents deadline is September 30. The non residents can also do it electronically.
Analyst Charles Nyirenda said it was strange for the expatriate to leave for his country within four months of his appointment.
“Look here, he has 24 months on his contract and four are already gone. He cannot afford to be absent for almost a month, if he is serious in achieving what he has been preaching about. Right now, he has 20 months left on his contract.
“The Super League season is at its peak and you go away for a month? That’s a big mistake. He should have been here and only leave when the league goes for recess next month. Yes, he has assistants. But it is him that has a good idea of what he is looking for and the best judge for that.”
When he was unveiled, RVG said unlike most national team coaches who operate from their home country and only return when there is an assignment; he had chosen to stay within Malawi.