Ngwenya spits fire
Scotland based defender Kieran Ngwenya has made a sensational claim that him and the Flames have two different football philosophies.
His comments come just a day after he was dropped from the squad to face Egypt in the 2024 Total Energies Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier this Friday.
In an interview from his base, the Aberdeen FC defender, who is on loan at Raith Rovers did not mince words.
“We have two very different football philosophies, and coach did not feel there was enough time for us to understand each other. I was 100 % ready to play,’’ Ngwenya wrote in a brief response.
Flames coach Mario Marinica’s philosophy is fast and very fast football which has received a lot of criticism from the football fans.
Football Association of Malawi (Fam) Technical Manager James Sangala said Flames Marinica felt the defender was not ready for the two matches.
“The coach believes that he is a potential player. But at the moment, he believes that he is not ready for the two matches,’’ Sangala said.
Unconfirmed reports from Saudi Arabia indicate that Ngwenya had a grand game against Bangladesh. However, he was told that he was not in Marinica’s plans.
Meanwhile, the Flames suffered another setback as defender Stanley Sanudi has been ruled out of the first leg due to yellow card suspension.
Sanudi picked up yellow cards against Ethiopia and Guinea. Apart from Sanudi, veteran striker Chiukepo Msowoya and midfielder Gilbert Chirwa will also miss the match due to injuries.
Msowoya scored for Malawi in a 1-1 stalemate with Bangladesh on Wednesday before the Flames thrashed Saudi Second Division side Al-Ansar 8-0 in another practice match on Friday.
The Flames are expected to fly to Egypt on Monday for the first leg slated for Friday before hosting them at Bingu National Stadium four days later.
Some foreign country-based players will fly straight to Cairo for the first leg. Sports analyst George Kaudza Masina said Marinica should not be faulted for dropping Ngwenya.
“I think he has done a fair assessment after staying with the player for one week,’’ he said.
Group D is wide open as all the four teams have three points each after playing two matches.
The Flames are second behind leaders Ethiopia on goal difference whereas Guinea and Egypt are third and fourth respectively.