Politicians make noise to be noticed, we forgive them.
Sports administrators are known for their calmness, we admire them. But sometimes administrators behave like politicians, we cannot like them.
But is there anything to admire about administrators at Football Association of Malawi (Fam)? Of course yes. The association has learnt to do things differently after making mistakes in the past. One of the mistakes, for a long time, was the insistence that nothing good can come from Malawi.
But that’s how we have been. Malawi has been undone by the belief that nothing good can come from within. I have never been a fan of expatriate football coaches because I still believe our chief problem is not lack of technical know how of the sport. One thing, that we tend to ignore, is that football is played by local footballers who struggle for a good living yet we expect too much from these players when they are on national duty.
Somehow, the performance of the national team is a reflection of our national league.
For a country that does little to export its players to other leagues abroad, the only hope for the national team’s success is a strong national league with motivated players. Whenever we engage in a conversation of Flames success, there should be talk of how professional our national league is. Perhaps this is the reason club licensing should have been implemented several years ago. So when someday a Fifa envoy stressed on the technical know-how side of the sport, I scratched my head for this is the least of our concerns.
The fact is that success in football stems from a number of factors. To have a motivated coach, regardless of their nationality, is the basic thing that every football association must get right.
Do we have a motivated coach in Ernest Mtawali?
I was really surprised to read in the newspaper that our national coach was yet to be given an official car.
Yet, whenever we have an expatriate coach, he is given everything but the ending is predictable; mediocre performances.
Maybe it is not the right time to talk about Ernest’s car because he finally got one this week. Fam has done the right thing once again but that has been eroded by the noise Fam should have avoided.
Anyone who decided to publicise the purchase of Ernest’s new car behaved like our politicians. If Fam was smart enough, no-one should have read in the newspapers that Ernest was perhaps the only national coach in Southern Africa without an official car.
Perhaps we should start treating our local national coaches the way we do with the expatriate coaches. Fam is not doing Ernest any favour, he deserves a good car for being the national coach. I can understand that all this noise about the new car was important, that is what politicians do. Sometimes, silence is golden because noise will always remind people that we ignored Ernest for a long time.
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