Gloves off

Coaches body asks for Marinica’s performance review


National Football Coaches Association (NFCA) has urged Football Association of Malawi (Fam) to resolve issues surrounding the future of Malawi National Football Team Coach Mario Marinica now rather than later.

This follows Malawi’s disjointed performance in the 2024 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers.

The Flames anchor Group D of the qualifiers with three points, having suffered a 4-0 defeat at the hands of Egypt at Bingu National Stadium (BNS) in Lilongwe on Tuesday.


NFCA General Secretary Davie Mpima said through its technical subcommittee, Fam must review the Flames’ performance under Marinica, whose contract is ending on Tuesday.

“First and foremost, we should apologise to the nation for our team’s poor performance. Tuesday’s performance was awful. It is now time for Fam’s Technical Subcommittee to review Marinica’s performance even though his contract is expiring soon. A decision regarding his future must be made now so that we should consider bringing in an interim panel,” Mpima said.

He said the association had names of coaches who could be in the interim panel to oversee the Flames’ forthcoming assignments in Afcon qualifiers and the Cosafa Cup.


“The situation on the ground was tense and intimidating, such that it will be difficult for the team to regroup. This is why we want the technical subcommittee to quickly meet to resolve the issue now because out there things are not okay,” Mpima said.

Fam General Secretary Alfred Gunda declined to comment on the matter.

“As for the coach, his contract will expire next month but I need to crosscheck the details on when exactly the contract expires,” Gunda said.

Ironically, NFCA Chairperson Aubrey Nankhuni is a member of the Fam Technical Subcommittee.

Marinica was initially employed as Fam Technical Director but was redeployed to the post of Flames head coach by the association’s executive committee.

At the time of his appointment, Marinica was given the task of winning the 2022 Cosafa Cup and qualifying for the Afcon finals.

He failed to win the Cosafa Cup, with the Flames getting eliminated in the group stages with one win, a loss and a draw.

Marinica also failed to guide Malawi to the African Nations Championship finals following a 1-1 stalemate with Mozambique.

The Mambas progressed on the away goals rule after coming from behind to force the draw at BNS before holding the Flames to a barren result during the return match in Maputo.

The Flames are in great danger of missing out on qualification to Ivory Coast next year as they anchor Group D with three points from four matches.

Egypt and Guinea are tied at nine points apiece but the former top the table courtesy of a better goal difference.

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