The position fell vacant following the expiry of expatriate Ronny van Geneugden’s (RVG) contract on April 1.

Mwase is the Flames interim coach

On whether the association will hire another expatriate or a local coach, FAM president Walter Nyamilandu said: “It was left open-ended subject to consultations with all key stakeholders such as the Ministry of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development and the technical subcommittee.”

He said the executive committee has resolved that FAM would focus on development by recruiting regional coaches “while government should recruit coaches for all national teams”.

“This approach is considered to be a shared responsibility,” he said as quoted in the Nation Newspaper.

FAM has since set the ball rolling on the issue by courting government through the Malawi National Council of Sports.

“It is an on-going process, but we are hoping to have the new coach in place by June end.

“It will be necessary to have the coach before the joint 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) and 2022 World Cup qualifiers whose preliminary matches start in August this year,” he said.

But Sports Council last week sent FAM back to the drawing board on the process of recruiting the next Flames coach.

The Council’s executive secretary George Jana said: “We discussed the issue, but we sent them back to recast because other than expressing the wish, their initial request was blank.

“It [the request] was not detailed, so we have told them what to do and they are working on that.”

Currently, Under-23 national coach Meke Mwase is in charge of the senior team on interim basis.

The last local permanent coach for the Flames was Ernest Mtawali whose one-year contract was not renewed in 2016.