FAM technical sub-committee has thrown its weight behind Flames coach Meck Mwase and his backroom staff despite the team’s poor showing in 2022 Qatar World Cup qualifiers.
The Malawi National Football Team finished bottom of Group D, having lost five matches and won one against Mozambique’s Mambas.
FAM tecnical sub-committee chairperson Tiya Somba Banda said while the results were disappointing, the Flames were up against continental giants in Ivory Coast’s Elephants and group winners Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions.
He said: “Not many local coaches have achieved what Meck and his backroom staff did by qualifying for Afcon [Africa Cup of Nations] finals and we have to give credit where it is due.
“But we cannot turn a blind eye to the fact that there are gaps and that is why we fast-tracked the hiring of the technical director [TD] to help with technical and tactical advice.
“Obviously, the results were disappointing as we did not see much improvement. But looking at Cameroon and Ivory Coast, they are ranked among the top five on the continent and are way ahead of us.”
Somba Banda said they have drawn lots of lessons ahead of Africa Cup of Nations [Afcon] finals.
He said apart from strong opposition, lack of game time for some of the key players at club level also contributed to the team’s poor performance.
“The team needs a lot of fine-tuning, we cannot run away from that. The World Cup qualifiers were a litmus test for Afcon finals,” ,” said Somba Banda.
On how frequent the committee analyses the team’s performance, he said: “After every assignment we ask the coaching panel to submit reports and we do meet either physically or virtually to scrutinise the same.”
On his part, FAM president Walter Nyamilandu said there are tough lessons from the World Cup qualifiers.
He said: “We did not expect to be bottom of the table or lose four matches in a row. The boys are hurting and we are disappointed.
“We always knew it was going to be a tough road, but we planned to come out stronger. The loss to Mozambique has just made matters worse because we had high hopes of salvaging the situation.
“It is a moment to reflect and search our souls on how we will cope at Afcon finals in Cameroon by building on our positives and correcting our mistakes.”
Some quarters have questioned Mwase’s pedigree to lead the Flames at the continental showpiece, saying he lacks tachtical and technical ability at that level.