Fouling from behind: Kinnah must be relegated to Malawi U-17 side

A lot has been said about the Malawi national football team, theFlames’ poor showing in recent international engagements and more outstandingly, the ongoing Cecafa Tusker Challenge Cup tournament in Uganda.

Listening to people commenting about the Flames’ pathetic show in offices, pubs, markets, minibuses and many other players, it is very clear that the majority of people want Kinnah relieved of his duties as national football coach.

I respect the majority’s views but I have a slightly different idea to the suggestions by the general public to get rid of the coach.

I find it not proper to fire a coach, who has said it more than once that he is building a team for the future. Kinnah said it when the Flames lost 3-0 on aggregate against Ghana in the South Africa 2013 qualifier that he was using young players to build a team for the
future.

Kinnah: Stubborn

When the Flames were booted out of the Cecafa Tusker Challenge Cup by less fancied Kenya, he repeated his claim. Whether indeed players like Joseph Kamwendo, Chiukepo Msowoya, Charles Swini, Foster Namwera, James Chavula, John Lanjesi, Rodrick Gonani, Benard Harawa and Grey Nyirenda are future stars is not for me to say.

What I can say without fear of contraction is that you do not build a team at senior level. For sure, Fam did not register the Flames for the Nations Cup and Cecafa competitions to build a team for the future. Every Malawian, including the government, which has been
pumping in millions of tax payers’ money to enable the Flames participate in such competitions was looking for good results.

Now that Kinnah has said it for himself that he is building a future team, I recommend to Fam to relegate him to the under 17 team, where he can be grooming future players.

Stubborness

Not long ago, Kinnah called people that were criticizing him for the Flames’ dismal performance as ‘Stupid.’ The people were particularly angered by the Flames 3-2 away loss against underdogs Chad. However, when the Flames reversed the deficit to beat the same side 2-0 at home, Kinnah became big headed and attacked all that were criticizing
him.

Likewise, when the Flames lost 2-0 to small fish Rwanda and struggled against minnows Eritrea, people rose up against the coach and started calling for his head. But when the Flames won 2-0 against little known Zanzibar, the coach became big-headed again and described the comments by people back home as ‘Rubbish.’

What Kinnah forgot on both these occasions was that those that were expressing concern were taxpayers, who have been making his salary and allowances. Some of those expressing the concerns were Members of Parliament, who have been approving the budget from which Kinnah has been drawing his hefty salary. It was, thus, stupid and rubbish on the part of Kinnah to curse the hands that feed him.

As he goes to take charge of the under 17 side, my message to Kinnah is that he should learn to take criticism and must respect his paymasters.

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