Kinnah remains Malawi coach, insists Sports Minister

Malawi government through youth and sports Minister Enoch Chihana has said it has not sacked national team coach Kinnha Phiri as it is consulting the Attorney General to find out the implications of the decision Football Association (FAM) made to reshuffle the technical panel.

The minister has squarely blamed FAM for not following procedures in firing the coach although it has been established that Chihana  is the one who persuaded the soccer governing body  through its president Walter Nyamilandu to fire the entire technical panel.

According to Nyasa Times sources, the minister called Nyamilandu some two weeks ago ordering him to call Flames coach Kinnah Phiri informing him about his axe.

“Chihana called Nyamilandu to fire Kinnah which he did through phone and the Principal Secretary from the ministry again called FAM president (after the announcement) quizzing him on why he did not consult the ministry before taking the move,” said the source.

Kinnah:Still Malawi coach
Kinnah:Still Malawi coach

In a dramatic turn of events, the Sports Minister told the media on Wednesday that Kinnah, his assistant Young Chimodzi and the Technical Director Jack Chamangwana are not fired.

“As it stands now, Kinnah is not fired because it was just verbal and the Principal has not terminated the contract,” Chihana clarified.

He insisted that Kinnah remains the Malawi national team head coach and as usual will be getting his monthly salary.

Asked to explain this confusion between FAM and government, Chihana said “we are not experts in football” but insisted that government did not fire Kinnah Phiri.

Malawi Government could have paid a cool K30 million for premature termination of contract Kinnah recently signed.

Kinnah took charge of the Flames in 2008 and only signed a contract extension until 2014 in October last year.

But Malawi’s failure to qualify for this year’s Africa Cup of Nations had alarm bells ringing, with commentators claiming the coach had run out of ideas.

Chihana said at the meantime, his office is consulting the Attorney General to find out the implications of the decision by Fam to fire the coach.

Kinnah earned praise when he qualified Malawi for the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations for the first time in 25 years, since when it has been hard for the coach to move forward.

Making the announcement of firing Kinnah two weeks ago, FAM said in a press statement that the decision was taken during an emergency meeting they had.

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