BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)- Football Association of Malawi (FAM), on Sunday made a dramatic u-turn on Gerald Phiri as Flames’ head coach, clarifying that an expatriate will be in charge of the nation team as it prepares for the 2018 Championship of African Nations (CHAN) qualifier against Madagascar on April 22.
FAM’s announcement changes Phiri’s selection last week, as head coach, and to be assisted by Deklerk Msakakuona.
The choice of the duo attracted criticism from sport analyst Peterkin Kayira, who found fault with the association for hiring the inexperienced panel; former malawi Flames star Kayira, predicting disaster for the Flames should the duo were allowed to lead the yeam.
Kayira wondered why the FAM hired the junior coaches for the senior side, when experienced coaches were available in the country.
The sport analyst said it was the right time for the association to consult on serious matters.
FAM President Walter Nyamilandu’s, latest position on the two, contradicts the information that FAM Secretary-General Alfred Gunda, told reporters last week. The SG said that Phiri and Msakakuona were on a one-year contract as head and assistant coaches respectively.
Nyamilandu, who did not attend the unveiling of the duo at Mpira Village in Blantyre, said the two local coaches were hired as assistant coaches.
He however, did not disclose the identity of the expatriate coach, including the source of the funding his salary, which normally ranges between US$10,000 (MK7.1 million) to US$50,000 (MK36 million) per month.
“It was an oversight on the part of the SG. The correct version is that Gerald is the first assistant coach, while Msakakuona is the second assistant coach. That’s the arrangement per their contracts that we are currently on the verge of sealing the arrangement with the prospective expatriate coach,” Nyamirandu said.
He continued saying that by the time an expatriate arrives in the country, FAM should have finalized everything. He will then get down to work straight away, and said the coach will start drilling the team in the 2018 CHAN preparations against Madagascar.
“We wouldn’t want it to come as a surprise but his (expatriate) identity, will be revealed in due course, as we are working on a long-term deal,” Nyamilandu said.
Several high profile expatriate coaches, including Portuguese Paulo Duarte, Bobby Williamson (Scot), Honour Janza of Zambia, and Zimbabweans Calisto Pasuwa, and Bruce Globbelaar, applied for the Flames’ job.