End of the road for Flames beleaguered coach Marinica

By Chisomo Phiri

The Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has disclosed that it will not renew the contract of Flames head Coach Mario Marinica when it expires this coming month of April citing poor performance as the major reason.

The decision was reached at during an emergency meeting which the Malawi National Council of Sports Board summoned with representatives of the FA on Thursday night.

The meeting came hot on the heels of the Flames’ recent dismissal showing in the ongoing Africa Cup of Nation qualifiers in which they lost 2 back to back games against Egypt to blow away any slender chances of qualifying for next year’s tournament in Ivory Coast.

Meanwhile Football Association of Malawi officials are expected to meet Mario today, on 31st March to discuss with him the FA’s decision and possible termination of the contract is not completely ruled out with a month to go.

Board Chairperson, Sunduzwayo Madise and members; Susan Namangale, Chisomo Mwamadi and Hellen Mpinganjira Tasosa represented Sports Council whereas FAM was represented by its president, Walter Nyamilandu and General Secretary, Alfred Gunda.

Malawi are third in Group D owing to a better head to head over Ethiopia who also have 3 points but lie bottom having lost to Malawi in the first leg of the qualifying campaign.

Malawi National Council of Sports Chairperson, Sunduzwayo Madise said they wanted to engage the Football Association of Malawi before acting on the issue.

“We wanted to get a comprehensive report from the Football Association of Malawi on the Flames’ comical display.

“We wanted to engage the Fam before reacting. National Team is for all Malawians and not an individual. It is clear that people want results, ” said Madise.

According to a leaked document of Mario’s contract, the Romanian who took control of the Flames last year after replacing Meke Mwase receives a net salary ofUSD 8,000 which is over K8 Million at the current exchange rate.

In a contract that the Association offered the Romanian in 2022, April 9 signed by the General Secretary of the association, Alfred Gunda, two third (2/3) of his salary was being being transferred to Mario’s Bank Account in his homeland directly from FAM’s account while the remaining balance was being paid directly to his local account in Kwacha.

Football Association of Malawi promised to adjust Mario’s contract by 10% on renewal of the contract and then 10% every year.

During his term of employment, FAM offer was entitled to a suitable fully furnished house in a low density area within the City of Blantyre or a 4 or 5 Star Hotel room, full-time 24 hour security in case of accommodation, K150, 000 for utilities and domestic costs in case of house accommodation, a motor vehicle with 350 litres of fuel every month.

Mario was also offered Life Insurance Cover, Workers Compensation Insurance, VIP Medical Insurance Cover under MASM,Telephone Allowance of K100, 000 per month, a leave grant in the sum of K4 Million, DStv subscription for a full bouquet, one economy flight ticket to any holiday destination per year mong others.

Marinica replaced Meck Mwase who took Malawi to their third Afcon appearance after nearly ten years of walking in the wilderness.

Under his reign, Marinica registered two wins in eleven matches across all the completions, scoring nine goals and conceding fourteen.

In the Afcon qualifiers, he registered one win and three loses, scoring two goals and conceding eight.