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‘Untouchable’

Fam backs Mario Marinica despite misfiring

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JOYFUL—The Flames celebrate

Football Association of Malawi (Fam) has thrown its full weight behind under-fire Malawi National Football Team Coach Mario Marian Marinica despite his charges’ failure at the on-going Cosafa Cup in Durban, South Africa.

However, the National Football Coaches Association (NFCA) has contradicted its mother body, Fam, by questioning the team’s style of play.

Fam Technical Sub Committee Chairperson Tiya Somba Banda said the team showed steady progress at the tournament, claiming Marinica’s philosophy was on the right track.

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“The good thing is that the team has shown progress in every match we played at the Cosafa Cup.

“We have also seen some promising performances by some players who are not regulars at the national team like Peter Banda, Clever Mkungula and Paul Ndlovu. These players can be used in the Chan tournament. I think Marinica’s philosophy is slowly getting into the players’ minds,” he said.

NFCA Chairperson Aubrey Nankhuni asked the coach to change his philosophy, saying the Flames failed at the Cosafa Cup.

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“The team which we picked for the Cosafa tournament this year should have brought the cup home. We took experienced players like Gabadinho Mhango, Ernest Kakhobwe, Stanley Sanudi and Christopher ‘CJ’ Banda, among others.

“We played well against Mauritius, which was our last match, winning 2-0. We won because we played our traditional 4-4-2 system and not 4-3-3 which Marinica used against Lesotho and eSwatini. No wonder, we drew with eSwatini and lost to Lesotho,” Nankhuni said.

Former Flames defender Macdonald Mtetemera also questioned Marinica’s philosophy, claiming that his system was not compatible with national team players.

“Marinica needs to change his philosophy to suit our traditional style. From what we saw against Mauritius, it is evident that the 4-4-2 formation was an ideal shape for the Flames. Let us use that system during Chan games before we face Egypt in Afcon qualifiers,” Mtetemera, who is also Sable Farming interim coach, said.

Flames finished third at this year’s Cosafa Cup after amassing four points from three games to exist the tournament following their 2-1 defeat to Lesotho and 1-1 draw against eSwatini. The Flames beat Mauritius 2-0.

Meanwhile, Flames players will arrive in two groups from Durban, South Africa, due to flight connections.

According to head of delegation Othaniel Hara, who is also second vice president, said the first group will arrive today before the remaining players arrive Wednesday.

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