RVG leaves, says he didn’t want to be a puppet

Former Flames coach Ronny van Geneugden (RVG) left the country yesterday afternoon for Belgium after FAM decided not to renew his contract.

In an interview before departure, the Belgian tactician said: “Working in Malawi was a wonderful experience which I will live to cherish.”

Time to say goodbye: Mponda (L) helps RVG with his luggage at the airport

He also said Malawi should critically look at the issue of changing coaches frequently.

“If you are changing coaches every year or you have 10 coaches in the last 10 years, [you ask yourself] what is the philosophy, the programme, the development programme, the foundation? How did you work in these 10 years? Because when you change a coach every year, you must have somebody else who is responsible for this development programmes.

“I must be honest that I did not get a straight answer, so at that time I had two options: Either I became a popular coach who is a puppet by making popular decisions [to please some quarters] or I said to myself, if there are no development programmes and the Fifa boss [president] wants to increase the number of teams at the World Cup teams to 48 in future, then it means more places for African countries.

“So, we had to start laying the foundations and development programmes for the future by rebuilding from Under-17 and Under-20,” he said.

On Monday, RVG blamed the offices of Football Association of Malawi (FAM) technical director and technical subcommittee of not supporting him.

“I didn’t share the same vision with the technical director [John Kaputa] and technical subcommittee chairperson [James Mwenda],” he said.

The former Flames mentor also appealed to those in authority within FAM not to interfere in national teams’ selection.

But FAM president Walter Nyamilandu differed with RVG on the claims, saying he was given all the support by the association.

“I don’t recall any deliberate attempt by the TD not to support the coach. In my view, it’s the output of the system and what he inherited that has not been productive to the coach,” he said.

RVG’s two-year deal, expired on April 1 and on Saturday, the  FAM executive committee resolved not to renew it on the basis of the team’s poor performance that saw the Flames registering only two wins out of 21 matches.

RVG appeared in high spirits at Chileka International Airport in Blantyre yesterday as he bid farewell to his trusted aides, notably his former assistant coach Peter Mponda and ex-assistant team manager Aubrey Nankhuni.

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