Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has warned Nyasa Big Bullets of stiffer punishment if they continue using underqualified assistant coach Elia Kananji following prolonged absence of head coach Nsanzurwimo Ramadhan.
Kananji, a Confederation of African Football (CAF) C licence holder, is in charge as the People’s Team is waiting for Ramadhan to return from his home, Burundi, where he said he is visiting a sick relation.
However, this is against club licencing rules and regulations.
Club licencing manager Casper Jangale said they already fined Bullets K100 000 after the team started using Kananji following Ramadhan’s suspension.
He said: “Initially, Bullets told us that they suspended the head coach and that Kananji is temporarily in charge. Later, they said the suspension is over but that Ramadhan is outside the country [to attend to a sick relation] and that he will return by August 2. We expected them to stop using him [Kananji] by then, but in a recent meeting, they told us that the coach is yet to come back.
“In this case they have up to the end of the first round which concludes this week to bring back the head coach or hire a new coach with CAF B licence. Failing to do so will attract even stiffer punishment than the one we meted out to them. This is a final warning.”
But Bullets general secretary Albert Chigoga said they had not heard from Ramadhan and that they will wait until the end of this week before making a decision.
He said: “As per his own communication through e-mail early last week, we were expecting him to report early this week, but he hasn’t and we have not heard from him.
“So, we are giving him up to the end of the week to get in touch with us or else the executive committee will meet to chart the way forward.”
Ramadhan could not be reached for comment yesterday.
But during his absence, his assistant, Kananji, has won six out of seven games, losing once.
The latest victory is the Blantyre derby against their age-old rivals Be Forward Wanderers whom they beat 1-0 in a TNM Super League match in Lilongwe last Sunday.
“Honestly, Elia has done very well, he has performed beyond our expectations because he took over when the team’s performance was very pathetic.
“If it were not for his coaching papers, perhaps,people would have suggested otherwise,” said Chigoga.
Kananji said he was happy to have delivered during his stint as caretaker coach.
“God was in control and everything went according to plan. Credit should go to the players for their commitment,” he said.
Bullets players already told the executive that they prefer Kananji to Ramadhan. n