FAM has said Flames caretaker expatriate coach Tom Saintfiet’s first task will be the Cosafa Castle Cup in Zambia next week.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Walter Nyamilandu also confirmed that the Belgian is scheduled to arrive in the country today (Thursday) and will watch Saturday’s international friendly match against Mozambique, which is part of the 49th Independence Anniversary Celebrations.
“He will watch the game from the terraces to get a glimpse of the players and from next week, he will start preparing the team for the Cosafa tournament,” said Nyamilandu.
He said FAM has decided to have Saintfiet earlier considering time as he needs more time to assess his charges.
He also confirmed Saintfiet’s claims in international media that he will sign a two-month contract.
“The fact that he will not be offered a salary does not mean he will not sign a contract. There will be a contract in place with specified terms,” he said.
But Nyamilandu could not be drawn to disclose figures FAM will spend on the expatriate, save for saying it is peanuts.
“We are getting him on a silver platter considering what he is bringing on the table,” he said.
Asked on whether Saintfiet is the right man for the task considering his roving tendencies, Nyamilandu said: “We had those concerns as well, but when we did our research, we found out that he was just unfortunate.
“For instance, in Zimbabwe, it was because of a work permit while in Namibia they could not agree on terms, so, too, in Ethiopia while in Nigeria it was because of leadership change. So, it was not about his performance or personality.”
Nyamilandu said they are planning to unveil Saintfiet to the media on Monday.
Sports Council executive secretary George Jana on Wednesday said they are aware of FAM’s move to engage the expatriate in an interim basis.
Saintfiet was yesterday quoted by BBC and Cosafa as saying: “The goal is to try to help qualify Malawi for the World Cup 2014 in Brazil. I will work with a strong team of local coaches.
“I know Nigeria and I know Malawi, I am convinced that Malawi has the quality to win.”
His first match in charge of the Flames will be the Cosafa quarter-final clash against Zimbabwe on July 13.
Nigeria lead the group on nine points, two ahead of the Flames.