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RVG accepts Fam decision

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By Mabvuto Kambuwe:

Former Malawi national football team coach Ronny Van Geneugden (RVG) has accepted Football Association of Malawi’s decision against renewing his two-year contract.

The decision was made during the association’s executive committee meeting held in Salima District on Saturday following recommendations from Fam’s technical committee.

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The committee had agreed on the recommendation on Friday ahead of the Saturday meeting.

Fam has, meanwhile, appointed under-23 coach Meke Mwase to take charge of the Flames until a permanent appointment is made.

RVG said he respected the decision and was not bitter.

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“I respect the decision and I wish the new technical panel well. I think Malawi football is on the right track. I have maintained a good working relationship with all the coaches I have worked with at all levels. I will be going home a happy man because we have developed a lot of players for the past two years,” the Belgian said.

His right hand man Peter Mponda, who is not in the newly appointed technical panel, also said he had accepted the decision.

But he claimed that RVG was a suitable coach for Malawi football and deserved to be given another chance.

“RVG was the perfect man for Malawi despite the poor results. Personally, I believe he did well although results were not coming our way. But he is a good coach and I respect him a lot for what he did to local football. We will appreciate his contributions to Malawi football may be in the next two to three years.

“But I am not bitter with Fam’s decision to leave me out of the new panel. I knew that if the head coach went, I would follow him because we were close,” Mponda said.

RVG’s other assistant, Franco Ndawa, is also out in the cold as Fam has appointed Lovemore Fazili to deputise Mwase.

But Ndawa refused to comment on the matter, saying he needed time to do so.

Local football analyst, George Kaudza-Masina, said the decision not to renew RVG‘s contract was long overdue.

“I blame Fam for coming up with the decision very late. I think they wanted to give him another contract but I am glad that he is going now. He was a failure and we could not have gone anywhere with our football had he been given another contract,” Kaudza-Masina said.

Mwase said he would not promise the moon as he takes up the challenge of transforming the Flames into a formidable side.

“I am humbled with the appointment. My word is that we need to prepare well for the upcoming matches so that we do well. I have learnt a lot of things from RVG. He is a man capable of sharing ideas,” he said.

Mwase’s first assignment will be to lead the Flames in an African Nations Championship qualifier against eSwatini this month.

He will have Bob Mpinganjira as fitness trainer while Swadick Sanudi and James Sangala have retained their positions of goalkeepers’ trainer and team manager, respectively.

In a press statement released on Saturday evening, Fam said Mwase would be in charge of the Flames until a permanent appointment is made.

The country’s football governing body said it would engage the government on the process of recruiting coaches for all national teams.

RVG took charge of the Flames in April 2017 but only managed two victories against Togo, in a friendly, and Comoros Islands in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe.

In 21 games in charge of the Flames, he lost eight games and drew11.

Malawi collected five points in the Afcon qualifiers after playing six games. Morocco and Cameroon qualified for the Afcon finals from Malawi’s Group B.

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