Flames coach Kinnah Phiri on Sunday made his position plain that he was not amused by the criticism levelled against him following the teamâ€™s sterile performance at the Cecafa Tusker Senior Challenge Cup tournament in Uganda.
Asked to comment on remarks by Youth and Sports Minister Enoch Chihana in Parliament, that the teamâ€™s performance would determine the coaching panelâ€™s fate, Kinnah said: â€œI am not amused really by what is being said.
â€œThe news from home has been very disturbing not only to the coaching panel, but the technical panel as well. What I will say is that Malawians must learn to respect people in public positions, technical people need to be respected.
â€œWhen you lose a game, it does not mean the end of everything,â€ said Kinnah.
He also said there is need to motivate up-and-coming players.
â€œThese are young players. They need to be motivated. There were no conditions set for this tournament as said by the minister. It [the tournament] was meant to prepare the team for the  World Cup qualifiers and it is very unfortunate for the minister and, indeed, others to go out of their way in their criticism,â€ said Kinnah.
However, the Flames mentor claimed that not all soccer-loving Malawians were against the team despite the poor start.
â€œNot all the soccer-loving Malawians were against the team. I thank those that have been behind the team for their support,â€ he said.
The Flames mentor said his focus is now on preparing the team for the quarter-final showdown against Kenyaâ€™s Harambee Stars on Tuesday.
â€œSo, let the minister and others say whatever they want, but our focus is on the coming game,â€ he said.
Kinnah came under heavy criticism following the teamâ€™s 2-0 loss to Rwanda that was followed by poor performance against Eritrea in the second game although the Flames won 3-2.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Walter Nyamilandu said he needed to consult before commenting on the comments made by the Sports Minister, MPs as well as Kinnah.
â€œI will need to consult with the executive committee because such strategic decisions solely rest on the board to which I am the chairperson,â€ said Nyamilandu.
The Flames qualified for the quarter-finals of the Cecafa Cup on Saturday after beating Zanzibar 2-0 to finish Group C on second position with six points.
In the quarter-finals on Tuesday, they will face Kenyaâ€™s Harambee Stars.