Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has stepped up its drive to engage an expatriate coach for the Flames by tabling a 50-50 cost-sharing proposal to government.
FAM president Walter Nyamilandu confirmed the development in an interview yesterday, saying they are hoping to get government’s feedback within the week.
“We have tabled a 50-50 cost-sharing proposal on the salary and we hope to get the response now that offices have reopened for business [after the festive season] and we are pushing,” he said.
Asked if they will afford to meet half of the expatriate coach’s package, the FAM president confidently, said: “Definitely. We will get the money from our various sources of funding. We have to sacrifice for the sake of making good progress. This will be a worthwhile investment.”
Initially, FAM presented a motivation paper to government through the Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS) in which they offered to meet part of the package, but they did not state the percentage.
He reiterated that the association believes it is ideal to recruit an expatriate coach both in the short and long term, “as he will assist in building the capacity of local coaches and building a strong team to qualify for  Africa Cup of Nations and at the same time make the Flames competitive in competitions we will participate in this year.”
The FAM boss said the plan is to build a strong team from Under-15, 17 and 20 using the leagues that are in place.
“This will require the right technical know-how and expertise as well as good networking with European clubs for exposure purposes.”
Minister of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development Henry Mussa confirmed that preliminary discussions between officials from his ministry and FAM had started.
“To that effect, an advanced meeting that will involve FAM, Malawi National Council of Sports and my ministry is scheduled for next week.
“Thereafter, officials from my ministry will present a report to me which I will, in turn, take to the State President to guide us on the way forward.
“But I can confirm that we are in receipt of FAM’s proposal and it is very clear. As I said, I totally support the proposal to hire an expatriate for now because it will be an investment. We need a technician who can help build the capacity of our coaches and take our game to another level,” he said.
The position of Flames coach fell vacant following the expiry of Ernest Mtawali’s one-year contract which was not renewed and at its executive committee meeting held last year, FAM resolved to hire an expatriate because all the suitable local coaches had been tried.
In justifying its cause to hire an expatriate, FAM listed 12 areas in its motivation paper which includes performance, tactical deficiencies, lack of managerial skills, lack of visionary and analytical skills, failure to meet deliverables, selecting players on merit and inability to inspire players.
FAM says it will use the applications (60 in number) that have been received so far, to shortlist five potential candidates. n