Government’s lack of funds should be no excuse for failing to engage an expatriate national coach as bilateral partners can assist, former Mighty Wanderers now Be Forward Wanderers chairperson Humphrey Mvula has suggested.
Mvula suggested that local coaches cannot transform the perpetually underperforming Flames whose last full-time mentor Young Chimodzi was sacked last month after losing 2-1 to Zimbabwe in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Cup qualifier that exposed tactical deficiencies.
“Government can, through relevant ministries, talk to development partners asking for technical aid. Such partners can pay the coach with government taking care of other expenses such as transport and accommodation,” Mvula said.
“The other option is taking out a budget to sponsors to explore the possibility of them paying coaches. They should not be constrained by money. The idea of looking for a coach is not difficult. It is just that we have not cast the net wider. In Zambia, Herve Renard was being paid by a mining company.”
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Walter Nyamilandu on Wednesday insisted that the suggestion to seek technical aid is good but they expect the ministry to “champion the cause because they have a relationship with donor partners. This is how Manfred Hoener was recruited.”
Nyamilandu added: “Our options are now limited and the search will now be narrowed to local coaches. This means that any local coach will be thrown into the deep end without being properly prepared for the daunting task ahead.”
Sports, Youth and Development Minister Grace Chiumia on Wednesday said while there is a possibility of getting such football aid, there was need for the ministry and FAM to plan as “we cannot go to a partner and ask for the whole lot.”
“As a country, we also need to get prepared as there are other costs that we may still have to meet. Let us have the budget then if we fail, people should know that we have failed based on this figure,” Chiumia added.
She was reacting to FAM’s decision to limit applicants for the post to locals on grounds that government has no money. The new coach will be hired by this August 1 ahead of a Group L game in Swaziland this September.
FAM wants interested coaches to possess “a high level of football coaching licence such as Uefa A, B licence or Fifa Pro-licence, a wealth of coaching experience either at club or national team level, strong integrity and vast knowledge of the game and be equipped with modern football tactics.”
Several coaches, including interim coach Ernest Mtawali whose mandate ended after leading the Flames to a 1-0 win over Uganda’s Cranes on Monday, want the full-time job.
MBC Mid-week Sports pundit Patrick Simango on Wednesday observed that the Flames would be doomed if another local coach is recruited as they are not up to scratch. However, National Coaches Committee acting general secretary Benjamin Kumwenda disagrees.
“The association [FAM] has 60 advanced coaches fit to coach any club or national team in Africa. We are boasting of 800 qualified coaches. In the next four years, we want the 60 coaches to obtain the Pro Licence and the other 60 to advance to CAF Advanced certificate,” Kumwenda observed recently.
There is no Malawian yet with Uefa A Licence and some 40 coaches are waiting for results of an equivalent of the same CAF A Licence. Most local coaches have Uefa B licences and its equivalent of CAF B. John Kaputa is among the highest qualified.
Expatriate coach Kim Splidsboel steered Flames to the 2002 Cosafa Cup final. Before that, German Manfred Hoener was credited for grooming the generation of stars such as Peter Mponda.
Malawi football glory years are attributed to the foundation which expatriates such as Brazilian Wonder Morreira and Englishman Ted Powell laid in the 1970s. However, it was locals Kinnah Phiri and late Henry Moyo who secured 1984 and 2010 Africa Cup of Nations finals qualifications.