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Fam hires Gerald Phiri for China match

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The Football Association of Malawi (Fam) on Saturday named Azam Tigers coach Gerald Phiri Snr as Flames caretaker coach for the friendly match against China Select this month end.

The two teams are set to play during the opening ceremony of the Bingu National Stadium on January 28 in Lilongwe.

Phiri will be assisted by Blue Eagles mentor Deklerk Msakakuona, with Premier Bet Wizards FC Technical Director and owner, Peter Mponda, appointed team manager.

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Fam President, Walter Nyamilandu, confirmed that the technical panel has been hired specifically for the China Select match.

“Yes, it is true. But for more details, talk to the General Secretary, Alfred Gunda,” Nyamilandu said in a brief interview.

But Phiri said the development was news to him.

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“Actually, you are the first person to call me on the issue. But I will come back to you after receiving the official communication,” he said.

Phiri is expected to name a squad which will go into camp in preparation for the match.

The association’s technical sub-committee met at Sunbird Capital Hotel in Lilongwe on Saturday and settled for Phiri to take up the post.

Fam is in the process of appointing a coach for the Flames.

The association decided to hire an expatriate coach, saying all the local coaches had been given a chance and failed.

Fam and the government are still discussing the remuneration for the coach with reports indicating that the two parties had agreed to share the cost of hiring the Flames mentor.

Over 60 coaches are said to have applied for the post, which fell vacant following the expiry of the contract of Flames legend, Ernest Mtawali, which the association decided against renewing due to a disastrous qualifying campaign for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.

Nsanzurwimo Ramadhan was hired on a temporary basis for a dead rubber game against Swaziland in the same campaign which the Flames won 1-0 thanks to Gerald Phiri Jnr’s goal at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre.

Phiri Snr led the Malawi Under-20 National Football Team at the Cosafa Cup championship in South Africa where the team disappointed after failing to score a single goal in three games.

But Msakakuona inspired Malawi Under-17 National Football Team to a third-place finish at the Cosafa Cup championship in Mauritius last year.

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