Saintfeit unveiled as Malawi coach, says beating Nigeria is ‘mission possible’

Football Association of Malawi (FAM) on Tuesday unveiled Malawi National soccer team Belgian expatriate coach Tom Saintfeit at a function held at Civo Service Club house in Lilongwe.
Fam Vice President Moses Mkandawire presided over the ceremony accompaned by FAM CEO Suzgo Nyirenda, Competitions Manager Gomezgani Zakazaka and assistants coaches Eddingtone Ng’onamo and Patrick Mabedi.

Saintfiet’s unveiling comes in the wake of resistance from some quarters who have expressed dissatisfaction with FAM’s move.

But speaking to reporters, Nyirenda advised Malawians to accept and support the new coach and to take a different view of things for the betterment of Malawi football.

Saintfelt with Ng'onamo and Mabedi
Saintfelt with Ng’onamo and Mabedi

“We believe that the nation will be with us for the good  of our team. They (Technical panel) are very energetic we have seen them-training the team and we believe they will take Malawi to world cup,” said Nyirenda.

On his part, Saintfient said he has come to Malawi with an agenda of making history in ensuring that Flames qualify for Brazil 2014 world cup finals by first beating Nigeria away, describing it as “mission possible.”

“We will go to Nigeria to surprise them, surprise Africa and the whole world. They (Nigeria) are good but not unbeatable. Kenya almost beat them,” said Saintfeit.

Saintfiet arrived in the country on Friday and watched Saturday’s international friendly match against Mozambique, which was part of the 49th Independence Anniversary celebrations -the Flames lost 0-1. He has also already watched three Super League games.

“Malawi played well against Mozambique and on the football ground, Malawi can beat Nigeria. I have watched few games and I have noticed some quality,” he said.

The coach says he enjoys working in Africa and that he has come to Malawi to fulfill a dream.

“The reason I came to Africa is because is a long time desire, I was passionate about African Football and there is so much quality about African football,” he said.

“I am here (Malawi) not for money, I am here because I have a dream; I am hundred percent sure that Malawi is a team that will get to the world cup and this is the time,” he challenged.

Commenting on reports that have been published on the local media that he is a failure and was chased in other countries he has worked, Saintfait described the reports as baseless and unfounded.

The Belgina said he left Nigeria where he served as national team Technical Director because the sports minister there ordered that by then they did not want to accommodate a foreigner in their team’s technical panel
hence ordering his departure.

In Zimbabwe, he claim to have left because the Football Association did not process his work permit in time therefore he escaped an arrest as he was given limited days to stay.

Apart from the two countries, the tactician also worked in Tanzania, Namibia and Ethiopia.

FAM  will cough US$10,000 (about K3.3 million) if he will lead the Flames to beat Nigeria in the last World Cup.

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