Kinnah Phiri



By Madalitso Phiri.

“The current senior national team’s miserable performances are not ending soon if the Football Association of Malawi continues hiring coaches basing on their skin-color and not their merit,” former Flames Skipper, and mentor, Kinnah Phiri has said.

Kinnah, while distancing himself from being anti-current FAM administration, observed that there are disparities in terms of how the soccer body treats local national team coaches, from foreign (usually white) coaches.

Phiri, who is in the country (Malawi), to process his work permit at his current club in Botswana ranted this on Saturday during a national cross country championship event in Mzuzu.

“I’m not against FAM, let me be honest, the problem with FAM is that they differentiate a white man from a black man. But if we are to take them basing on merit, and in terms of qualifications, (Malawian coaches compared to people that we have gone to search somewhere), Malawians are better off than them.” He observed.

The concern comes amid perpetual under-performance of the Flames in recent years. This is going on despite the country speeding obnoxious tax payers’ money footing the bills of a Belgian tactician, Ronny Van Geneugden, who has failed to impress a lot of local football pundits.

“They (FAM) are looking at colours, black or white. If we are to judge the current coach with Ernest (Mtawali, current coach’s predecessor) in terms of the number of games, Ernest’s records are far much impressive. He just lacked support.

But look at the current coach…they gave him a new car, a Cell phone and the like, a lot of money is being spent on a white coach without fruitful outcomes. Okay, give him a chance, in the forthcoming matches; Let’s wait and see.” He ranted.

The Malawi senior national team’s dismal displays have seen various exchanges of mentors from both locals and internationals, but all to no avail. As it stands, the Flames has failed to qualify for the forthcoming African cup of Nations Tournament to be staged in Morocco.

According to Kinnah, the current poor run of form can only end if there are consistencies in the national team call-ups.

“During our time of play, a player could wear jersey number nine just for example, for ten years, but today’s selection, a player is called for national duty, and tomorrow he is dropped, so how can he deliver?” Quizzed he.

Flames has only qualified twice to the AFCON tournament, the latest one being in 2010 when Kinnah was at the helm.



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