Flames coach Ronny van Geneugden (RVG) says some Nyasa Big Bullets players will be included in his final squad for the upcoming Cosafa Cup despite their absence from training this week.
Initially, the coach said it would be difficult to include them at the expense of those that trained the whole week.
Bullets held on to their players—goalkeepers Rabson Chienda and Ernest Kakhobwe, defenders John Lanjesi and Miracle Gabeya, midfielder Mike Mkwate, strikers Chiukepo Msowoya and Patrick Phiri—saying logistically it would have posed a challenge as they also had to prepare for their Airtel Top 8 quarter-final second leg tie against Moyale Barracks this afternoon.
Said RVG: “My position now is that we will include some of them based on my earlier assessments, afterall I won’t be coming up with the final squad until mid next week.”
However, the Flames mentor maintained his stand that he holds the Football Association of Malawi (FAM) responsible for Bullets players’ failure to train with the national team.
“I still feel that had FAM done their home work, the situation could have been different. I am also disappointed with Bullets.
“Being the organisers of the Airtel Top 8 competition, FAM should have also taken into consideration issues relating to the national team when drawing up their programmes,” he said.
FAM president Walter Nyamilandu yesterday admitted that there is a lapse in communication as regards issues relating to national duty.
“We have an obligation to respect national duty at all times. This means that all entities within football and FAM must prioritise national team activities and be committed to the national cause.
“I have noted lapses in communication that have to be improved upon, including scheduling of fixtures to facilitate smooth camping of the national team,” he said.
FAM general secretary Alfred Gunda yesterday confirmed that submission of the final list for the tournament has been shifted to next week.
“For now, we will only send a provisional squad and then make changes when the final list is ready,” he said. n