As concerned citizen threatens to stop expat coach’s engagement
Just two months after sending Ernest Mtawali for an elite coaching course in Germany, FAM has dropped him from the Flames caretaker coaching panel.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) chief executive officer Suzgo Nyirenda yesterday confirmed the development in an interview with theWeekend Nation, saying Mtawali, who was one of Eddington Ng’onamo’s deputies, alongside Patrick Mabedi, is a victim of financial constraints.
“The decision to drop Mr. Mtawali was made yesterday after considering several factors which I cannot give out at this point. Suffice to say Messrs Ng’onamo and Mabedi will continue to be part of the caretaker coaching panel,” said Nyirenda.
Asked if the move has not compromised the initiative to prepare him for future roles in the Flames technical panel after recommending him for elite coaching courses in England and Germany in the last two years, Nyirenda said: “He is still part of our future plans. It is not like we have sidelined him completely.”
Mtawali said he had no problems with FAM’s decision.
“The initial temporary deal expired, so if they have seen it wise not to keep me, let it be. I do not want to comment on the issue further,” said Mtawali.
However, a Lilongwe-based concerned citizen Teddie Moya and Flames legend Peter Mponda have faulted FAM for the move.
Moya said FAM’s decision to engage an expatriate and drop Mtawali exposed glaring shortcomings in the association. He said as a concerned citizen, he is seeking a court injunction against FAM engaging Belgian Tom Saintfiet, who Nyirenda confirmed arrived in the country yesterday.
“I have already consulted my lawyers on the issue and the process of drafting the grounds is underway.
“The caretaker coaching panel should have been left intact rather than engaging an expatriate coach because the reasons FAM are giving for the move are not convincing at all,” said Moya.
“What proof do they have that Saintfiet is technically superior to the locals? My feeling is that the local coaches did a good job considering the circumstances they worked in,” he said.
Moya said it was wasteful of FAM to send the coaches for advanced courses when they knew they would not fit in their long-term plans.
He challenged that FAM top brass has completely run out of ideas and should consider stepping down.
Mponda said the move to engage an expatriate and remove Mtawali is ill-timed.
“I am sure that even Ng’onamo and Mabedi have their own reservations, but they cannot show it,” said Mponda.
In a related development, FAM has removed Casper Jangale from the position of marketing head.
Nyirenda said the change has been made after considering several factors, but he dismissed suggestions that it was a vote of no confidence on Jangale.
Jangale also said he does not view the decision as a vote of no confidence.
“In fact, the issue of organisation review was put in place by Fifa and we started adopting it in 2010 and the change is part of that exercise,” said Jangale.