Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) was on Tuesday forced to reinstate goal attacker Sindi Simtowe-Msowoya in the Malawi Queens’ final squad for the 2022 Commonwealth Games scheduled for Birmingham, England following a cocern raised by coach Peace Chawinga-Kaluwa.
The player was not on the final list submitted to Commonwealth Games Association of Malawi by NAM on Monday which left the coach bewildered as the player was on her final list of 12 players.
A source confided in The Nation that the coach was bitter with the development and threatened to withdraw her services.
Said the source: “The coach accused NAM, especially general secretary [GS] Isaac Chimwala, of interfering with squad selection.”
In an interview on Tuesday, Chawinga-Kaluwa confirmed the development in an interview on Tuesday, saying he was not amused with the NAM GS’ conduct.
She said: “Sindi was on my final list that was submitted to the GS and I am surprised that she has been left out.
“Maybe the GS doesn’t like her because he is the one who has removed her. So, he could be better-placed to comment.
“My selection was based purely on players’ performace during the Cosana Tri-Nations Tournament as well as the training matches in South Africa.”
But Chimwala said they made a deliberate decision to have up-and-coming player Tendai Masamba on the final list instead of Simtowe-Msowoya to expose new talents at the global showpiece.
He said: “We need to expose her at the Games. This is the ideal time for that.
“We cannot say we will start exposing her on the international stage later because we always have limited games.
“If we wait for next time, then we will realise that it is closer to the 2023 Netball World Cup qualifiers or other world ranking games. We need to ensure that young players are given opportunity, so Masamba has to be there.”
Chimwala said it was strategic to include Masamba in the final squad because they knew it would be much easier to draft in Simtowe-Msowoya at a later stage.
He said they knew that Simtowe-Msowoya would still make it into the final squad as she is needed as a goal-attacker, but they noticed that if they put her name on the final list, their argument about Masamba would not have carried weight.
“We had to be tactical in our approach. Now that Masamba is already in the squad, it is easy to bring in Simtowe-Msowoya and that is exactly what is going to happen,” the GS said.
“We needed 12 names to be announced for the trip at the Team Malawi unveiling and we had to make it in a fashion that you have seen. Nothing is out of order and there is no politics involved. It is only that the technical panel has decided not to understand what is really happening. Nothing is out of the ordinary. Everything is under control.”