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Kinnah Phiri laughs off reasons that Football Association gave for his sacking

Flames coach Kinnah Phiri on Monday laughed off grounds filed by FAM for recommending the termination of his contract to government, describing them as vague.

Kinnah was speaking soon after the postponement of a meeting where government was supposed to hear his side of the story on reasons filed by the Football Association of Malawi (FAM) for his firing.

He said the reasons contained in the letter from government to FAM, were continued poor performance of the Flames leading to the downward plunge on Coca-Cola Fifa rankings, selection criteria and his involvement with Big Bullets FC.

Kinnah said he got a copy of the letter on Thursday and submitted it to his lawyers [Wilson and Morgan] for their perusal.

“It clearly shows that they (FAM) had no basis at all for their decision to recommend the termination of my contract.

“They [FAM] are talking of continued poor performance of the national team when they were not able to provide adequate support to enable the team to have thorough preparations.

“And if they are talking about selection criteria, then they, too, are to blame because every call-up list had to be submitted to them for approval and if they felt that there were flaws in the process, then they could have intervened through their technical subcommittee, but they never did that,” said Kinnah.

He claimed that every call-up list was submitted to the FAM president and chief executive officer for approval.

He defended his involvement with Bullets, saying it was done during his spare time.

FAM chief executive officer Suzgo Nyirenda said he needed more time to respond to Kinnah’s claims.

Justifying the decision to recommend Kinnah’s contract termination, FAM president Walter Nyamilandu recently told The Nation that the poor run of the Flames was of great concern and they could no longer maintain his services as there appeared no end in sight.

“We were faced with a situation where technically, we were not getting it right and the insufficient funding by Malawi Government was not helping the cause either,” Nyamilandu was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, Kinnah said the meeting to hear his side of the story was postponed to Friday upon request from his lawyers who asked for more time to study the reasons given by FAM.

Kinnah said he had to engage lawyers as the issue involved a legal process.

Dressed in a brown caudral suit, Kinnah appeared at Sports Council offices looking relaxed and had a brief meeting with his lawyers soon after the postponement of the hearing.

Kinnah’s deputy Young Chimodzi and technical adviser Jack Chamangwana were also scheduled to give their side of the story later yesterday.

Chimodzi’s said the meeting centred on technical issues to do with the performance of the Flames.

“But I cannot divulge the details as they are yet to get the coach’s [Kinnah] side, said Chimodzi.

As we went to press, it was Chamangwana’s turn.

Principal secretary II in the Ministry of Youth and Sports Justin Saidi kept a tight lid on the proceedings, insisting that government would issue a press statement at an appropriate time.

A source close to the meetings said some of the officials that attended the hearing were Saidi, Sports Council executive secretary George Jana and FAM chief executive officer Suzgo Nyirenda.

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