MPs get tough on football coach Kinnah Phiri and his team

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The Flames’ technical panel, led by Kinnah Phiri, must count itself lucky for winning the game against Eritrea on Thursday as Malawi’s Minister of Youth and Sports declared on Thursday that results of the next two games at the ongoing Cecafa tournament will determine the panel’s future.

The national team’s continued mediocre performance was the highlight of parliamentary proceedings on Thursday morning, with several parliamentarians demanding to know if the newly signed contracts of the technical panel were pegged on results.

Member of Parliament for Mulanje Central, Kondwani Nankhumwa, started it all when he demanded to know why results of the Flames have not been impressive of late.

Said Nankhumwa: “I would like to know why the Flames have been losing their games and continue to tumble on Fifa rankings?”

In reply, Chihana said football is money and that thorough preparations are needed for any team to succeed.

“For our national team to do better, we need a lot of resources and we need to organise a lot of friendlies; and even the corporate world to help us,” said Chihana.

But the answer did not go down well with Rumphi North representative Tasokwa Msiska, who pressed Chihana to come out clearly on whether contracts of the coaching panel had clauses that clearly stipulate what should happen if the team is not performing.

Chitipa North MP Nick Masebo followed up with a supplementary question on why the team is not producing results.

“We are so much interested in the issue of the youth, especially our national team. Why is it that it is performing poorly?” Masebo asked, to which

Chihana said the two games Flames have at the tournament (including Thursday’s against Eritrea) are the ones that will determine the future of the coaching panel.

“The contracts that they signed are clear and they have clauses which hint at results. Depending on what happens in the two games, that is when we will act,” said Chihana.

The Flames technical panel, which is led by Kinnah Phiri, has of late come under fire for lacking technical and tactical expertise, and failing to field players in proper positions.

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