Football Association of Malawi (Fam) and Nyasa Big Bullets have denied news making rounds in Zimbabwe media outlets that revered coach Kalisto Pasuwa is in Cameroon to help the Flames as they take on Zimbabwe Friday.
Malawi and Zimbabwe started the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals with 1-0 losses on Monday and will be hoping to put their campaign back on track with a win.
The Flames lost to Guinea while the Warriors went down to tournament favourites Senegal.
Zimbabwean online media publication newsday.co.zw reported recently that Malawi had roped in Pasuwa as a consultant.
“They will be looking to milk his intimate knowledge of the Zimbabwe players. The former Dynamos midfielder and then mentor coached the Warriors at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations finals in Gabon and before that presided over two wins against Malawi while in the Zimbabwe dug out,” the publication’s report reads.
Another publication, herald.co.zw, reported that Pasuwa was rumoured to have accepted to play a consultancy role for the Flames.
It however reports that the Bullets coach had distanced himself from that role.
“He had been following proceedings, clapping on every good move by the Warriors as he joined a small band of Zimbabwe fans who were seated just below the media tribune,” the publication reports.
It further reports that Pasuwa laughed off suggestions that he was earmarked for a role in the Flames’ technical department.
“This should be a joke I think. I saw social media was awash with these lies, blatant lies I can say. I have no role in the Malawi national team whatsoever. The rumour actually started when I called someone on Thursday as I was home [in Zimbabwe] telling them I would fly to Cameroon for the Africa Cup of Nations.
“Maybe that’s how they started interpreting my going to Cameroon as a sign that I would be working with the Flames, but no; that’s not the issue,” Pasuwa is quoted as saying.
Fam Competitions and Communications Director Gomezgani Zakazaka denied any links with Pasuwa.
“He is here with his club vice president Fleetwood Haiya just to watch the games and not on official duty with the Flames,” Zakazaka said.
Bullets Vice President Fleetwood Haiya said they were at the continental showpiece to offer moral support to the Flames.
“We, as a club, have always been behind the national team. We have a responsibility to support our flag carriers. This is what a big club like ours does all the time.
“This is not the first time for us to offer our support to the Flames. We offered some millions of kwacha during the team’s fundraising dinner in Lilongwe,” Haiya said.
He said they were looking forward to Friday’s match against Zimbabwe.
“Malawi had great chances to win against Guinea and we believe the coaches have rectified the shortfalls that were there. Our coach [Pasuwa] is also here to appreciate new tactics that could help us in the 2022 season,” Haiya said.
The Flames were rumoured to have asked Pasuwa to help in plotting Zimbabwe’s downfall as he worked with prominent players such as captain Knowledge Musona, Kudakwashe Mahachi and Teenage Hadebe at the 2017 Afcon tournament.
Peter Fote is a Sports Journalist with huge experience in radio and Television reporting, production and presentation. He once worked with Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) and is currently working for Times Media Group.