Over-aged players in Malawi U-20 squad: Exclusive

A two week investigation carried out by Nyasa Times has revealed that overaged players have been taken on board and are part of the Malawi national team Under 20 selected players currently in training camp.

Gerald Phiri: Junior Flames caoch
Gerald Phiri: Junior Flames caoch

The Junior Flames are preparing for the Council of Southern African Football Associations (COSAFA) Junior Championship scheduled to take place in South Africa from 4th to 17th December 2016.

Football Association of Malawi (FAM) recently announced it will conduct trials and scouting of players below the age of twenty from all the regions to be included in the Malawi National Under 20 Football Team.

The exercise started on Sunday 6  November, 2016 aiming to come up with a total of 32 players.

In its advertisement, Fam clearly indicated that players eligible to participate in the trials must be born on or after 1st January 1998.

The association also assured Malawians that the players will undergo screening before the trials commence.

But Nyasa Times has established that the coaches have lost direction on the whole essence of having conducting trials as well as establishing the Under 20 side.

According to a FAM Executive Committee member who spoke under strict condition of annonymity, said FAM is not entirely to blame for selection of overaged players but rather the coaches.

“You know it is the coaches who are getting it all wrong because they are looking for players that will give them results at the tournament and FAM doesnt have a hand in all this,” said the source.

He however wondered why Super League players are on the list of selected players.

“You dont expect a Super League player to be playing in Under 17 or 20 that doesnt happen anywhere else and if it was at school, its just the same dropping from form four to form 1” he said.

A football analyst on Channel for All Nations (CAN) Radio and also owns a club playing in the Central Region FMB League Nelson Mphande suggest only players playing in FMB Under 20 could have been taken on board and that the coaches forget about results in their first appearance.

“I think the eligible players to go to Cosafa Youth Championship are those playing in FMB Under 20 league rather than picking players playing in Super League. Those guys should wait for Under 23,” Mphande told Nyasa Times.

“Our focus at Cosafa should be to participate and and gaining experience; winning games should just be a bonus but next year after experiencing how it feels is when we can compete just like what the Under 17 of Mr Deckleck Msakauona did recently; we are proud of what
the team brought home and next year we will expect a cup from them” he said.

In the course of investigations, Nyasa Times findings revealed that indeed some Super League players were picked.

Some included the trio of Levison Maganizo, Kondwani Mwaila and Mark Fodya all from Silver Strikers who confirmed being in camp when contacted.

The findings were that Fodya was born on 22nd December 1996, Maganizo on 2nd July 1994 and Mwaila was born on 12th November 1997 despite claiming to have born on 12th September 1997.

“I was born on 12th September 1997,” said Mwaila a Marketing Diploma holder obtained from Soche Technical College who is expected to continue his Advanced Diploma Studies during 2016 off season break.

But it was revealed and the player admitted that he previously played three seasons at Griffin Young Stars a team owned and coached by Griffin Sayenda Jnr .

Mark Fodya was born on 22nd December 1996 according to our investigations.

Meanwhile, FAM is yet to release names of players that were picked from across the regions that are currently in Camp in Blantyre as promised.

FAM out-going General Secretary Suzgo Nyirenda could not respond to two questionaires sent on two occasions.

Under 20 Head Coach Gerald Phiri led a team of four coaches that conducted trials for the Southern Region held at the Mpira Village alongside other coaches Trevor Kajawa, Patrick Kulemeka and Leo Mpulula.

In Zomba, trials were conducted by FAM Technical Director John Kaputa with assistance from Tione Mhone, Prichard Mwansa,  Moses Chimbetete, James Sawerengera and Griffin Saenda Jnr.

Fam Development Officer James Sangala took charge of proceedings in the Central Region backed by Millias Pofera Jegwe, Dave Moya, Thoko Chimbali and Dave Mpina.

Junior Flames newly appointed Assistant Coach Enos Chatama led a team of coaches in the Northern Region together with Wakisa Mwambeteya, Lano Ikwenga and Mwayi Mwanza.

The Malawi Under 20 will make a return to the Cosafa Championship since their last participation in 2011.

The Junior Flames were part of the nations that inaugurated the Cosafa Youth Championship in December 1997 staged in Botswana.

On return, they should expect a tough opposition as having been drawn against neighbours Zambia and Zimbabwe.

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5 years ago

Abale tikati under under is means below or not over so supa ligi ya ku malawi mulibe under 20 alekeni ana asewere zimenezi nthawi yanu inapita basi

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