By Mabvuto Kambuwe:
Phiri was hired for one year but was relieved of his duties after a strained relationship with Head Coach Ronny van Geneugden (RVG).
Sources within the association confirmed Thursday that Phiri was supposed to continue getting his monthly salary despite his sacking.
The decision to pay Phiri was arrived at during a Fam executive committee meeting held on August 11, members making the move to avoid legal implications.
They also agreed to engage him as one of the coaches earmarked for the association’s football academy project.
“It was agreed that we should pay him his perks because we were supposed to continue paying him despite the sacking. After some people realised that he was wrongly sacked, there were fears of legal implications. The meeting also agreed that we should re-engage him for our academy project,” the source said.
But, in an interview yesterday, Fam General Secretary Alfred Gunda declined to give more details on the matter.
He, however, confirmed that the August meeting discussed the matter.
“It is not wrongful termination of a contract but we just recommended that he should be getting his perks just like previous coaches,” Gunda said Thursday.
He could not take more questions, saying he would shed more light on the matter later.
Phi r i was reluctant to comment on the issue Thursday.
“It is a tricky issue and I am not comfortable to comment on it,” Phiri said.
Director of Sports in the Ministry of Sports, Jameson Ndalama, asked for more time to verify the development.
“The last time we talked with Fam was when the Human Resources Department was asking for the details of the coaches but, since then, I have not received any reports from them on the matter,” Ndalama said.
During his one-year tenure, Phiri, alongside another assistant to RVG, Deklerk Msakakuona, were only being paid bonuses.
Fam imposed Phiri and Msakakuona on RVG as his assistants but, in a normal football set up, the head coach chooses his backroom staff.