Malawi’s Youth and Sports Ministry has finally played ball for the Sports Council board to give Kinnah Phiri and his Flames coaching crew performance indicators ahead of the 2014 World Cup qualifiers.
Council board chairperson Reverend Dr. Lazarus Chakwera confirmed on Sunday that this is the first time they will put on paper monitoring mechanism for Kinnah, his deputy Young Chimodzi and technical adviser Jack Chamangwana.
“The contract details have now been made known to the board by government and we will be working in conjuction with FAM on the performance indicators.
“The board meets in the next two weeks to discuss how best to effectively monitor performance. This has not been done in the past,” Chakwera said in an exclusive interview.
Weekend Nation had asked Chakwera on the council’s way forward for the vanquished Flames, who finished 2012 empty-handed; failing to win 2012 Cecafa Cup, let alone qualifying for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.
“On Flames, the standard is not up to the mark. We really need soul-searching from the grass roots. That is why we have a new strategic plan which explains what ought to be done,” Chakwera said, when asked whether the targets should not have come before the coaches signed the contract.
Some argue that Kinnah is just a small component of Flames’ struggles, blaming the team’s failure on dysfunctional youth, club football and preparations which are crucial to success.
“Removing a coach will not offer any solution. But having proper guidelines and principles will assist in ensuring that our football is moving in the right direction,” Denmark-based defender Clement Kafwafwa said on Monday. Big Bullets captain Fischer Kondowe shared Kafwafwa’s view.
In Zambia, they invest in youth national teams which participate in international competitions until they graduate to the senior team, which is not the case in Malawi.
On Tuesday, Chamangwana, who is vouching for Flames reshuffle, said when extending their contracts government was not specific on their targets and “I do not know how they will do it, but usually it hinges on winning games.”
Reacting to the development, Kinnah on Wednesday said he expected FAM to play a huge role on drafting the performance indicators since the council is more of a sports mother body.
Last year, FAM chief executive officer Suzgo Nyirenda issued a statement that qualifying for second round of the 2014 World Cup qualifiers, getting under way this March, would be the coaches’ minimum target.
“This was hinted to us sometime back when we were discussing the contract renewals. FAM executive also agreed to entrust its technical subcommittee with setting targets for the coaches. We will brief the council on the set targets,” Nyirenda said on Thursday.
Sports Minister Enoch Chihana in November also verbally set targets for the Flames to perform at the Cecafa tournament in Uganda, but Nyirenda feigned ignorance of the targets. Then last month, Chihana changed the tune that the council and FAM would assess the coaches.