Flames interim coaches will this afternoon complete their three month contract with a World Cup qualifier against Kenya’s Harambee Stars at Kamuzu Stadium.

However, the coaches were on Tuesday hit with a setback after players protested over unpaid allowances for the World Cup qualifiers.

Fam general secretary Suzgo Nyirenda refused to comment on the issue and asked for more time.

He however, confirmed that Fam president Walter Nyamilandu was locked in a meeting with the technical panel and Malawi National Council of Sports over the issue.

After a three hour meeting Fam resolved to pay the players outstanding allowances soon after today’s game. The association also promised K100,000 each for the players if they manage to beat Kenya in the qualifier.

As far as the battle of qualification is concerned the odds are not in favour of Eddington Ng’onamo, Patrick Mabedi and Ernest Mtawali.

It’s a bridge too far for the trio since their fate depends on Nigeria who face coach-less Namibia and lead Group F with eight points, two clear of second placed Malawi.

It will have to take a miracle for the Flames to dislodge Nigeria and qualify for the last round.

The Flames should pray that Nigeria stumble in today’s game in Windhoek. A win by the hosts will mean Brave Warriors move to seven points so that the qualification should be open to Malawi, Nigeria and Namibia.

This will mean the last qualifiers in September will ultimately decide who proceeds to last qualifying round. But in the event that Nigeria triumphs against Namibia Malawi’s hopes will be shattered.

Yet this afternoon’s game is very important for the interim committee, which has to be assessed soon after today’s qualifier. They have so far played four games; two competitive and two strength testing matches.

They lost 1-0 to Botswana in a friendly before beating Namibia 1-0 in World Cup qualifier. They then drew one-all with Zimbabwe in another friendly before last week goalless draw against Namibia in the second leg.

Last week Minister of Youth Development and Sports said the games were a chance for the coaches to prove that they deserve a long term contract.

World Cup qualification is long short but after the draw both the employers and Malawi and will expect nothing less than a win. – By Joy Ndovi

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