Football Association of Malawi (Fam) is under criticism for changing tunes on the required qualifications for the post of Technical Director.
At its executive committee meeting in Mangochi last week, Fam appointed former Football Development Officer Benjamin Kumwenda as the new Technical Director, replacing Mario Marian Marinica, who was appointed Flames coach after Meck Mwase was relieved of his duties.
However, the appointment of Kumwenda is against the requirement which Fam was looking for when it advertised the post last year.
In its advertisement in local media, Fam indicated that it was looking for a holder of pro-licence and a degree in sports management.
According to the advert, no local coach was eligible for the post as no one has a degree in sports management.
Then, Fam had to re-advertise the post, having failed to get the right person for the job.
But to the surprise of some people, Kumwenda was named the TD— which means Fam lowered its standards for the post.
Fam Technical Sub Committee Chairperson Tiya Somba-Banda defended Kumwenda’s appointment.
“We have made structural changes in the technical department after reviewing the Cosafa region, including the Zambia, setup,” Somba- Banda said.
“Redeployment, promotions are also part of the normal recruitment process,” he said.
Fam short-listed three candidates for the post of TD but Marinica emerged successful, beating Scottish Frank Nuttal and Michael Martinez from Spain.
Kumwenda worked as caretaker TD for a period of five months after Fam decided against renewing the contract of John Kaputa, who served in that capacity for eight years.
In an interview yesterday, Kumwenda said Fam saw potential in him when he was in charge on an interim basis.
“It is too early for me to comment on the matter but I think the executive committee was impressed with me when I was caretaker TD,” Kumwenda said.
Malawi has several Caf-A licence holders including Milias Pofera Jegwe, Alex Ngwira, Audrow Makonyola and Thom Mkolongo.
National Football Coaches Association General Secretary Davie Mpima was reluctant to comment on the appointment of Kumwenda.
Former Flames coach Kinnah Phiri was among the local coaches who applied for the post of Fam TD.
However, Phiri, who guided the Flames to Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals in Angola, 2010, was not short-listed for the post.
Sports analyst Peterkins Kayira said Kumwenda’s appointment was tricky.
“Fam was looking for a highly qualified TD and I hope Benjamin has all the right qualifications for the job. If he doesn’t have, this is a recipe for disaster,” Kayira said.
Last year, 13 coaches, both local and foreigners, applied for the post of TD.