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Fam questions qualification of Silver Strikers’s coaches

Silver Strikers have challenged Football Association of Malawi (Fam) over the grounds which the association used when refusing to grant the Bankers a licence for participation in the 2018 TNM Super League.

It has emerged that Fam wants Silver to provide documents, proving that their Coach, Young Chimodzi, and his deputy, Lovemore Fazili, are qualified.

Ironically, Fam, on recommendation of Flames Coach, Ronny van Geneugden (RVG), hired Fazili as Malawi under-20 national football team assistant Coach whereas Chimodzi was, until 2015, the Flames’ mentor.

Last week, Fam General Secretary, Alfred Gunda, disclosed that only Dwangwa United met the requirements after earning 95 percent rating, with Silver managing 64 percent only as per the assessment of the association’s First Instance Body (FIB).

“According to the FIB, your club failed to submit the following documents; Infrastructure criteria: Certification of the stadium, Sporting Criteria, Administrative and Personnel Criteria: Unavailability of Caf B (minimum) qualified head coach and coaches contracts, Financial Criteria, Legal Criteria,” reads part of Gunda’s letter addressed to Silver General Secretary, Thabo Nyirenda, dated March 14 2018.

“You are, therefore, advised to appeal to the Fam Club Licensing Appeals Committee stating the reasons of your failure together with the documents in question. Failure to do so will result in your club being relegated.”

In response, Nyirenda on Friday said it was unthinkable that Fam was questioning the eligibility of their stadium and coaches, when the association granted the team a licence and nothing has changed in the team’s set-up.

“It could have helped if you had acknowledged receipt of our documents which outlined the qualifications of the coaches, the legal criteria and others. We might be duplicating documents here. Further, the copies of the coaches’ qualifications were sent to Fam and are in Fam’s custody. It is intriguing that we are adjudged to have employed unqualified coaches. You also have our K1 million surety for the last season,” Nyirenda wrote.

In an interview, Nyirenda also wondered whether it was correct for Fam to claim that it was engaging Fazili on temporary basis when he would be attached to the national team until June with just one break.

Nyirenda said Silver were being affected by Fazili’s absence, adding that Fam did not write the club seeking the release of the coach.

Fazili yesterday said he possesses a Fam C Licence and Uefa B Licence, which is equivalent to Caf B. Chimodzi is highly qualified having been trained in Brazil, England and Germany and the same Fam has, on many occasions, hired him as Flames coach.

“I am also surprised by this development. Maybe my club has not yet sent my papers to Fam but I am sure that even Fam have my qualifications in their database,” he said.

The issue of the appointment of the coaches to the national teams has raised eye brows. RVG did not consult the National Coaches Association and Fam’s Youth and Technical Committee as stipulated in the association’s regulations, and some of the coaches are also not qualified, raising questions on whether it makes sense for Fam to put Caf B Licence as the minimum qualification for Super League head coaches while lowering the standards for deputy coaches for the national teams.

Elsewhere, senior national team head coaches and, indeed, club coaches choose their own backroom team but the choice is limited to qualified coaches.

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