Dowa North Member of Parliament (MP) Enos Chitatanga has said Football Association of Malawi (FAM) is leaving in denial calling the national football team, the Flames, ‘Barcelona’ when it is having a run of poor results .
He said this after presenting the petition to Parliament which he received on behalf of Parliamentary Committee on Social andCommunity Welfare made by concerned football supporters.
Chitatanga also said there is need for an inquest on the hiring of the Belgian coach Ronny Van Gneugden and FAM has to be audited.
He told Parliament that there were three main issues in the
petition. The first was poor performance of the national team in that out of
the 20 games, the team has won twice and lost eight times and drawn 10
The concerned citizens are also demanding transparency in the way the national coach was recruited.
Speaker of Parliament Richard Msowoya declared that the petition was officially with the Malawi Parliament pending appropriate action.
But reacting to the petition, Minister of Sports Grace Chiumia, said she wished the petitioner had consulted her ministry to found out what it was doing on the matter.
“It is not only football which has problems, even netball. I know there is a problem. As government we are also concerned with the poor performance of the flames. I want to organise four special and separate meetings with the coaches first, then the players, FAM and lastly the Sports Council.
“We should not rash to terminating the coach’s contract. I want these people to explain to me the problems they are facing without each other’s interference. I am very hopeful that after those meetings I will know the root cause and I will tell the nation and as Malawians we can come up with solutions to the problems,” said Chiumia.
Chiumia added that she will make sure to hold the four meetings in a single week after the current seating of Parliament saying it is the wish of government to see the flames performing well as it used to do in past.
Chairperson of Social and Community Welfare Committee, Richard Chimwendo Banda, has since announced that his committee will summon FAM and the Ministry of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development in January for a hearing.
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FAM president Walter Nyamilandu has welcomed the call by Parliament, saying it offers them an opportunity to clarify things.