Football Association of Malawi (FAM) did not set any targets for Flames coach Mario Marinica in his year-long contract, meaning the Romanian tactician is under no pressure to deliver, it has emerged.
Ironically, Clause 5.3 states that FAM can terminate the coach’s contract in case of failure to meet performance targets.
But the contract does not explicitly state any targets and only promises bonuses for some achievements, according to Clause 3.5 of the contract which runs for a year effective April 9 2021.
The clause states that Marinica is entitled to “double monthly net salary if he qualifies for 2023 Africa Cup of Nations [Afcon] and double monthly net salary equivalent if he makes it to the 2023 Africa Nations Championship [Chan].”
Marinica is also entitled to “two thirds of monthly salary if he wins the Cosafa Cup” and “double players bonus for a win” as well as “150 percent of players bonuses for match draws”.
On the other hand, Clause 4.3, states: “Malawi National Team men’s head coach’s shall sign a performance agreement and failure to meet the agreed targets shall constitute a valid reason justifying immediate 10 percent contract reduction with 15 days’ notice.”
FAM general secretary Alfred Gunda yesterday confirmed that the coach did not sign the performance agreement.
He said: “Everything is spelled out in the contract. There is no other agreement which he signed. Other than the contract, it’s only the offer of employment letter which he signed to accept the offer.”
There have been calls for Marinica to be fired following his failure to win the Cosafa Cup, qualify for Chan as well as Malawi’s recent poor performance in 2023 Afcon qualifers where the Flames have lost three out of four matches.
However, private practice lawyer Chauncy Gongwe said FAM cannot fire the coach due to poor performance based on the contract.
He said: “FAM cannot use that clause [3.5] to terminate Marinica’s contract. Only bonuses are the ones that are performance-based. He will only lose bonuses if he fails to qualify for 2023 Afcon, 2023 Chan and Cosafa tournament, but not his employment.
“So, FAM cannot invoke that clause to terminate his contract. The coach only loses bonuses as provided for under Clause 3.5 as read together with Clause number 4 of the contract.
“The contract does not provide room for termination during the subsistence of the contract. What is provided are performance bonuses.
“The coach is right that there are no set targets warranting his dismissal. Poor performance only affects bonuses.”
Meanwhile, Marinica has insisted that his contract does not stipulate targets.
In an interview, he said: “The target you are saying they are not my target. They are people’s targets. I don’t’ have targets in my contract. Obviously, I want to qualify for Afcon, but that’s not in my contract.”
Marinica gets a net $8 000 (about K8.1 million) of which two thirds is transferred to a designated bank account in his homeland directly from FAM foreign currency denominated account while the balance is paid in the kwacha equivalent and $4 000 (about K4 million) leave grant.
The contract states that the salary shall be adjusted upward by 10 percent on renewal and the 10 percent every year, thereafter.
The coach’s other benefits include a ‘suitably furnished house in a lower density area within Blantyre or four or five stars hotel accommodation, a motor vehicle, 350 litres of fuel per month, life insurance cover, workers compensation insurance, VIP medical insurance, K100 000 telephone allowance, annual gold card membership at Blantyre Sports Club, external travel allowance of $150 (about K150 000) per day.
Marinica replaced Meck Mwase who qualified for the 2022 Afcon, but was fired and later on redeployed to the Under-23 national team.
Mwase, who has since been appointed coach for e-Swatini side Nsingizini Hotspurs, sued FAM for unlawful termination of employment and the case is up for a ruling later this month. He was getting K1.4 million salary.