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Meck Mwase likely to finish Afcon qualifiers

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CONSULTING—Gunda

Malawi National Football Team Coach Meck Mwase’s contract could be extended until the end of 2022 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers before stakeholders decide on his long term fate.

Mwase’s contract will expire on January 31.

Football Association of Malawi (Fam), during its first executive meeting, did not make any decision regarding the coach’s future as they opted to be thorough with consultations.

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Sources said an informed assessment can be done once Mwase completes Afcon assignments where results would count.

“It has been tough for the association to thoroughly assess the coach to decide whether he stays or not. No wonder it was difficult for the executive meeting to make a decision in the absence of complete results,” said the source.

Both Fam General Secretary Alfred Gunda and the association’s head of technical subcommittee Tiya Somba-Banda said they were consulting stakeholders as Mwase’s contract was due to expire on January 31.

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“We know we are racing against time but the decision will be made soon when we are through with the consultation process,” Gunda said.

On his part, Banda said they needed all stakeholders to make an input before making the final decision.

“All the details will be released once we are through with consultations,” he said.

Mwase refused to comment.

If Mwase’s contract is extended, it means the former Nyasa Big Bullets and Be Forward Wanderers defender would be in-charge when the Flames conclude Afcon qualifiers in March against South Sudan away and Uganda at home.

Meanwhile, National Coaches Association (NCA) General Secretary Davie Mpima has said the coach needed time to be fairy assessed.

“Of course, at the beginning, we questioned his appointment because we felt he was rushed. He was supposed to spend time with Malawi Under-20 before picking up the job for the senior side.

“Anyway, we feel the right decision can be made after the qualifiers whereby the results should count. As it is I would advise Fam to further extend his contract to assess him properly. Mwase met some unfortunate conditions including the Covid-19 pandemic which made planning difficult,” he said.

Mwase was hired last year after impressing during the 2019 Cosafa Championship in South Africa, where the Flames lost in the Plate Final.

During the Cosafa Cup, the Flames, under Mwase, defeated Seychelles 3-0, Namibia 2-1 and drew one-all with Mozambique and two-all with Zambia.

They beat Comoros 2-1 and lost to the hosts South Africa 5-4 on post-match penalties.

Upon his hiring as Flames Coach, Mwase led the Flames to a 0-0 draw with Botswana before beating the Zebras 1-0 in World Cup qualifiers.

Flames also drew with Lesotho 1-1 in a friendly.

Malawi also beat South Sudan 1-0 in 2022 Afcon qualifiers but lost to Uganda 2-0 and Burkina Faso 3-1 in away games.

In friendlies, Flames drew with Zimbabwe 0-0 but twice lost to Zambia by 1-0 score-line.

Currently, in Afcon qualifiers, the Flames lie third in Group B with four points from four games whereas Burkina Faso lead with eight points from the same number of games.

Uganda are second with seven points from four games while South Sudan anchor the table.

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