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Sports

Waiting game

Fam says Marian Mario Marinica contract not ready

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Walter Nyamilandu

Newly appointed Flames coach Marian Mario Marinica will wait a little bit longer to sign a new deal after Football Association of Malawi (Fam) revealed it was yet to finalise paperwork.

The association, at its executive committee meeting held in Mangochi last month, appointed Marinica as Flames coach—replacing Meck Mwase, who was deployed to the Under-23 national football team.

Marinica stopped being the Technical Director despite having a three-year contract.

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In an interview Tuesday, Fam President Walter Nyamilandu said the target is to finalise the contract by the end of this month.

“Negotiations are still underway. We are also consulting stakeholders on the matter. It is our hope that, by the month end, everything will be finalised,” Nyamilandu said.

According to Fam, the decision to hire Marinica as Flames coach was made after impressive performance while he was in charge of the team during the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals in Cameroon.

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During the Afcon finals, the Flames won a single match against Zimbabwe (2-1), lost 2-1 to Morocco, 1-0 to Guinea but drew 0-0 with Senegal.

Marinica confirmed that he had not signed a new contract with Fam.

“Fam has not finalised other issues,” Marinica said in a recent interview.

The Romanian has a tough task to guide the Flames to the Afcon finals after the team was drawn in a tough group alongside Egypt, Guinea and Ethiopia.

In its report to Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS), Fam justified the decision to hire Marinica, saying Mwase failed to meet targets.

Mwase was tasked to win the Cosafa Cup and also guide the Flames to two victories in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.

However, Mwase failed to win a single match during the Cosafa Cup and finished bottom with just two points from four matches.

In the World Cup qualifiers, the Flames lost five matches and chalked one win.

Mwase alongside Lovemore Fazili have running contracts with Fam until April next year.

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