Kinnah Phiri scorns Fam over Ronny van Geneugden


Former Malawi national football team coach, Kinnah Phiri, has taken another dig at Football Association of Malawi (Fam) for allegedly giving incumbent Flames Coach, Ronny van Geneugden, more time than his predecessor, Ernest Mtawali.

Phiri, who is in the country due to work permit complications in Botswana where he coaches Mochudi Centre Chiefs, accused Fam of giving preferential treatment to expatriate coaches.

The Flames legend wondered why Fam is continuing to place trust in Van Geneugden when his record is worse than that of locals.


He said Mtawali could have done better if he was given a chance.

Mtawali took over the national team in August 2015 but his one-year contract was not renewed after a run of five wins, six defeats and four draws.

Van Geneugden has won two games, posted three losses and six draws since being appointed last April.


“I am not speaking against Fam or anybody but as a person who is very honest. When you look at the achievements of local coaches, you realise that they have been doing a better job than expatriates.

“And they are more qualified than the people we fetch from somewhere. If a coach has not achieved anything in his own country, that coach is not a good coach. I am not joking,” he said, adding that Van Geneugden must prove himself in the next two games.

Malawi face Uganda next month to warm up for games against Morocco and Cameroon in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

Phiri said players are not to blame for the Flames’ poor finishing, but the style of play is. Under van Geneugden, the Flames have scored five goals in 11 games while conceding seven goals.

“In the first place, we may blame the boys for not scoring but you also have to count how many passes are going forward and backwards? You will find that 80 percent of the passes are going backward.

“The coaches will always tell them [players] to play the ball back and play it safe. How many times are they going to play it safe and not score? During our time, it was forward ever,” Malawi’s all-time top scorer said.

But Fam General Secretary, Alfred Gunda, said van Geneugden will be given a chance to turn around the team’s fortunes.

The Belgian, who signed a two-year- contract with Fam last year, has been under pressure.

Recently, Flames Captain, Limbikani Mzava, said he was worried that the coach frequently chops and changes his squad, saying this undermines the team’s performance.

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