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Coaches warned against juju, shunning interviews

National Football Coaches Association (NFCA) has set a code of conduct for its members in the country.

In a press release issued on Saturday, NFCA Chairperson, Stewart Mbolembole, said the code, among other guidelines, urges coaches to refrain from cultural beliefs such as juju, respect each other, accept decisions by other officials, encourage players to accept responsibility for their actions and avail themselves to the media.

“Don’t criticise an opposing team, its participants, coaches or fans by word of mouth or gestures. Always facilitate arrival of your team to the match venue on time. Refrain from cultural beliefs such as refusing to enter dressing rooms, refusing to enter the stadium or field of play through designated entrances, allowing a match to kick off with one and more players out.

“Remember that information is power. Therefore, never refuse to grant the media pre and post-match interviews. Except on extreme insecurity circumstances, delegate the assistant coach and not a team manager,” Mbolembole said.

The association has released the code in view of the kick off of the TNM Super League season on Saturday.

Mbolembole also urged coaches to avoid the mentality of trying to win games by hook or crook.

“Our concepts of ethics are our attitude that directly affects the behaviour of players under our supervision. It is expected that we will pay particular care to moral aspects of our conduct. It is natural that winning constitutes a basic concern for coaches across the country. However, I urge all coaches to disassociate themselves from a ‘win at all cost attitude’,” he said.

In an interview, NFCA General Secretary, Davie Mpima, said they came up with the code for the first time, following concerns from stakeholders over the conduct of some coaches.

“At every workplace, people need to have guidelines. Being heads of technical panels, coaches should lead by example by ensuring that discipline is upheld by fellow members and players. The other aspect is that of granting interviews to the media. Other coaches’ conduct towards reporters is not good. They have no respect for the media yet, during coaching courses, we are instructed to respect and work hand-in-hand with the media,” Mpima said.

Blue Eagles FC Coach, Deklerk Msakakuona, commended the association for coming up with the code.

“This is a good approach because, sometimes, we relax and forget our responsibilities. Of course, sometimes, after losing a match, we, due to disappointment, leave the pitch earlier and go to another different environment.

“But the rule remains that we should be greeting our counterparts on the other bench and grant post-match interviews to the media. Mine is just an encouragement to fellow coaches that we should try to follow the guidelines for the betterment of the game,” Msakakuona said.

Football analyst Higger Mkandawire said the initiative would help reduce cases of violence, which coaches sometimes ignite.

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