Mario contracted to Fam, not government
By Mphatso Malidadi & Mabvuto Kambuwe:
Football Association of Malawi (Fam) is singlehandedly footing Malawi National Football Team Coach Mario Marian Marinica’s salary after the government rejected to pay him, Malawi News Sport can reveal.
According to our sources, Marinica was hired by Fam and not the government.
The revelations come at a time Marinica’s future is shrouded in a mist following Flames’ unconvincing display in 2023 Africa Cup of Nations Group D matches.
According to our source, Marinica has been on Fam’s payroll ever since he replaced former Flames coach Meck Mwase last year.
“Government has never paid Marinica’s salary because he was hired by Fam and not the government. As such, anything to do with him, is Fam’s responsibility,” the source said.
The development means Fam coughs about K12.9 million a month to pay Marinica’s monthly salary.
Marinica’s salary came into the limelight after the Industrial Relations Court sitting in Blantyre learned about the amount during court proceedings in a case where former Flames coach Meck Mwase sued Fam for unlawful termination of contract, redeployment and constructive dismissal.
Pressure is mounting on Marinica as stakeholders are calling for his firing following Flames’ miserable performance in recent matches.
Fam General Secretary Alfred Gunda asked for an emailed questionnaire which he was yet to respond to as we went to press.
Coincidentally, on Thursday, Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS) officials summoned Fam to review the senior team’s performance.
Marinica’s current contract will expire later this month.
Sports Council Board Chairperson Sunduzwayo Madise insisted that people at the meeting made no decision on the future of the coach.
“The decision regarding the coach’s contract lies with Fam. Council is not privy to [terms of] the contract. Of course, we, as council, expressed our views, on our own behalf and on behalf of the nation, to Fam on the (recent) performance of the team on Tuesday, under the tutelage of the current coach,” Madise said.
According to Madise, during the meeting, Fam said it would engage its Sub-Technical Committee to evaluate Marinica’s performance and make recommendations to the Fam Executive Committee on the way forward.
Details indicate that Fam President Walter Nyamilandu and Gunda attended the meeting.
Nyamilandu said the Sub-Technical Committee will meet today to assess Marinica.
“We reiterated to Sports Council that we will follow the due process to review his contract using the existing structures to make timely decisions.
“We assured Sports Council that we would resolve the matter as soon as possible, given that we are equally concerned about the dismal performance of the Flames lately,” Nyamilandu said.
The Flames lost 4-0 to Egypt at Bingu National Stadium just four days after another 2-0 loss away in Cairo.
Following back-to-back defeats to Egypt, Flames’ Afcon fate is not in their hands as leaders Egypt and Guinea just need a draw from the remaining two matches.
The National Football Coaches Association (NFCA) also demanded Marinica’s head during a press conference in Lilongwe on Wednesday.
NFCA General Secretary Davie Mpima proposed that the Fam Sub-Technical Committee should meet within three days.
During the Tuesday match, fans threw stones at players in reaction to the team’s poor performance.
The defeat was the worst for Malawi since 1975, when they lost 6-1 to Zambia in an Afcon qualifier.
Marinica, who replaced Mwase last year, has only managed one win in four Afcon qualifiers.
Initially, he came to Malawi as Fam Technical Director on a three-year deal.