Silver Strikers apologise to coach over players


Malawi National Football Team Coach, Ronny van Geneugden, has accepted Silver Strikers’ apology over their failure to release players to the Flames ahead of last Saturday’s game against the Comoros at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe.

“It must be an honour for clubs when their player(s) are invited to the national team. The Flames are the pride of the country. Every football player in the world dreams of being selected to play for his country,” he explained Monday.

“So, it was for me a very big surprise and disappointment [that] this could happen in football. Sure, I accepted their apology. And Silver Strikers’ players are, for me, again available for selection.”


Silver, who held on to goalkeeper Brighton Munthali, defender Chisomo Mpachika, strikers Green Harawa, Binwell Katinji, midfielders Young Chimodzi Junior and Levison Maganizo ahead of their Airtel Top 8 Cup final against Be Forward Wanderers, apologised to Football Association of Malawi (Fam) yesterday through General Secretary, Thabo Nyirenda.

Nyirenda said there was communication breakdown between the club and the Flames’ technical panel.

“We came to know about the camping on May 29, 2017. The players were supposed to travel to Blantyre on May 30, 2017 and return to Lilongwe for the Airtel Top 8 competition on May 31, 2017. Our Team Manager [Francis Songo] talked to the national Team Manager [James Sangala] to consider exempting our players until the Airtel Top 8 Cup final “reads part of the letter.


“I also e-mailed the Fam General Secretary [Alfred Gunda] requesting the same exemption and the national team coach was copied accordingly although he expressed misgivings about our request. After the final match, we dully gave our players transport money for them to travel to Blantyre to join the camping. We have learned that they were turned back. It was not our intention to disregard the call up.”

Fam President, Walter Nyamilandu, yesterday said everything was water under the bridge.

“I initiated discussions between Silver and the coach. I think they had fruitful discussions. For us as Fam, it was important that all the best players must report for national duty and all differences must be resolved,” Nyamilandu explained.

Fifa rules and regulations mandate clubs to release players for national team competitive games on calendar.

“These matches take priority over matches in a national championship. In other words, matches in the national championship or cup competition should not be arranged on one of the fixed/set dates.

“A club holding the registration of a player called up to play in the national team must release him to the national association on the fixed/set dates for international matches in each calendar year. The player shall also be released for the period of preparation. If the player is called up to play in a qualifying match for an international competition, this period shall be four days (including the day of the match). The period of release shall be prolonged to five days if the match in question is held on a different continent to that on which the club is domiciled,” reads Article 32 of Fifa regulations.

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