By Mabvuto Kambuwe:
Football Association of Malawi (Fam) has appointed Meke Mwase as Malawi national football team coach on permanent basis for one year effective July 1. The decision comes after Mwase impressed at the 2019 Cosafa Cup in Durban, South Africa, where he guided the Flames to the final of the Cosafa Plate.
Fam made the decision during its executive committee meeting at Chiwembe Technical Centre in Blantyre on Saturday.
Fam President, Walter Nyamilandu, said the development means the recruitment process of the national coach has been concluded.
“We agreed to conclude the recruitment process of the national coach by appointing Mwase as coach on full-time basis with effect from July 1. The decision was arrived at having noted that he had successfully coached the Flames at the just ended Cosafa tournament, where the team performed extremely well.
“The meeting held with Ministry of Youth, Labour and Sports officials resolved that the Malawi Government should employ three national coaches of our under-17, under-20 and senior Flames on full-time basis.Advertisement
“During this period, Meke will have to enter into contract negotiations with the government and complete necessary recruitment formalities. The contract agreement will be for one year subject to renewal upon expiry,” Nyamilandu said.
Nyamilandu said the association would meet Mwase this week to start preparations for World Cup preliminary round matches scheduled for August.
He said Mwase had been given a chance to name his backroom staff during his tenure.
But Mwase declined to comment, saying he would do so upon getting official communication from Fam.
Some 55 coaches, including foreigners and locals, applied for the Flames job which fell vacant after the association decided against renewing Ronny van Geneugden’s contract beyond March 31 this year.
National Coaches Association General Secretary, Davie Mpima, said it was too early to comment on the issue.
“We, as an association, only know that 55 coaches applied and Fam was meeting to shortlist the coaches. We will make a statement after getting communication from Fam,” Mpima said.
Mwase guided the Flames to the Cosafa Plate final which they lost 5-4 to South Africa on post-match penalties.
For the first time in three years, Malawi registered three victories at the regional tournament after thrashing Seychelles 3-0 in the opening game before snatching a 2-1 victory over Namibia.
Malawi drew 1-1 with Mozambique in the last game of the Group B campaign but lost 4-2 to Zambia in the quarter-finals of the tournament after a 2-2 stalemate in regulation time.
On their way to the Plate final, the Flames beat Comoros Islands 2-1.
Malawi finished the competition as the highest scoring team with 10 goals, with Gerald Phiri Jnr being named Player-of-the-Tournament.
Phiri Jnr and compatriot Gabadinho Mhango shared the Golden Boot Award with a Mauritian player after scoring three goals each.
The Flames have not lost a match in open play under Mwase, who started with two draws against eSwatini in the African Nations Championship.