By Mphatso Malidadi:
Calls for Football Association of Malawi (Fam) President Walter Nyamilandu and Flames Coach Ronny van Geneugden (RVG), to step down are growing.
However, the Fam boss has refused to step down, saying his four-year constitutional mandate runs until December 2019.
“Let the fans voice their concerns. They are exercising their right to freedom of expression. As stated earlier, I have a constitutional mandate until December 2019. I will continue to serve better the game of football with the best interest of the nation at heart,” he said Wednesday.
Fans voiced their anger towards Nyamilandu and RVG soon after Malawi under-23 national football team were held to a one-all draw by their Botswana counterparts at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre on Tuesday.
Malawi progressed to the second round of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers because they beat Botswana 2-1 in Gaborone on Saturday in the first round, first leg match.
The supporters were also not particularly happy with RVG and his deputy Peter Mponda’s presence on the under-23 coaches’ bench.
In anger, the supporters booed whenever Mponda tried to issue instructions to the players and the scene turned chaotic after the match as fans chanted songs against the trio.
One of the supporters, Peter Mvalo from Naperi Township in Blantyre, said they were tired with Nyamilandu’s reign as well as RVG and Mponda’s presence on the under-23 bench.
“Our football is regressing because of Walter. He has done his part. Let others take over. As for RVG and Mponda, they were not supposed to be on the bench because they were interfering. If the team was still under [Coach] Meke [Mwase] and [Deputy Coach] Bob [Mpinganjira], Malawi under-23 could have won the match. In short, the three should go,” he said.
RVG joined the under-23 side straight from Comoros Islands where the Flames exited their edition of the Afcon qualifiers after losing 2-1 to the islanders.
On the other hand, Nyamilandu has been at the helm since 2004. Only Fam affiliates can remove him through the ballot box.
Well-known Nyasa Big Bullets supporter, Isaac White, who has resurfaced after years in South Africa, wondered why RVG and Mponda joined the under-23 bench.
“RVG and Peter are with the [senior] national team so they should not interfere in the under-23,” he said.
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