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Old, cold Flames

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Minister of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development, Henry Mussa, has said the government is consulting on the hiring of Malawi National Football Team’s coach and the Flames’ future in general.

Mussa was responding to a question on Thursday whether Lilongwe will emulate Zambia, whose President, Edgar Lungu, advised Football Association of Zambia (Faz) to employ a local coach.

“We cannot follow what Zambia has done because we have our own problems. We have a technical committee at Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS). They have the mandate and they will make recommendation to us,” he explained.

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“We have not been performing well and it is disgrace. We are now saying ‘what is the best way forward? Should we switch off for some years while we are grooming talent because the majority of our players are tired?”

Mussa added that the government has not completely closed the door for an expatriate coach, saying consultations were underway.

The ministry pays national team coaches whereas the Football Association of Malawi (Fam) hires, monitors performance and makes recommendations to the government.

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Fam Vice-President, James Mwenda, who is also the chairperson of the association’s technical sub-committee, said the process of hiring the coach will be discussed at a meeting later this month.

However, Mwenda said should Fam find it necessary to hire a foreign coach, it will consult the government.

“For your information, we have not even advertised the post but we will be meeting soon to see the way forward,” he said.

Former Nyasa Big Bullets’ chairperson, Malinda Chinyama, when asked on Thursday whether to disband the Flames and rebuild from scratch said:

“It is quite strange, unless they tell us they have a strategic plan and a policy to support such a decision [disbanding]. The policy should also spell out a sustainability system that once we re-enter the international system, we will not have a repeat of the past chaos

“Why not put the necessary strategies and policies in action now, while phasing out gradually the mediocrity? It is an idea that sounds betraying to the country.”

Meanwhile despite not advertising the post, over 65 coaches, including five locals, have applied for the job which fell vacant at the expiry of Ernest Mtawali’s one-year contract on July 31 2016.

Former Zimbabwean international, Bruce Globbelaar, is among the expatriate coaches interested in the job. Yasin Osman, Lawrence Waya, former interim coach, Nsanzurwimo Ramadhan, and Eddingtone Ng’onamo are also interested.

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