Malawi24 Editorial: Not all Mtawali’s fault: Flames shameful display is FAM’s failure 

Ernest Mtawali and Nswazirimo Ramadhan 2

Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has managed to hire and fire 16 Flames coaches over the past 18 years but there has been no change in the team’s on field performances.

Kinnah Phiri, Young Chimodzi, and Ernest Mtawali are some of victims to have faced the wrath of the FA due to what they call poor performance of the team.

Ever since taking over as the country’s life FA President, Walter Nyamilandu has managed to bring on board 12 Flames coaches (both local and expatriates) but the team has not improved a bit.

When the association decides to fire the technical panel, those in authority will only put the blame on the coaches forgetting that FAM has contributed a lot to the downfall of the team over the past 11 plus years.

Ernest Mtawali and Nswazirimo Ramadhan 2
Nyamilandu (2nd Left) with Mtawali (2nd right) and his Assistant Ramadhan had contracts not renewed.

By firing the coaches, they are saying “we are doing everything right, we are doing everything to have a strong national football team, and we have a great culture and leadership”.

But is the association an ‘angel’ in all these problems? Certainly not. Our FA is the main culprit for taking our football standards down to the extent of having the worst team ever in the history of this country.

The association has now turned our team into a laughing stock whereby teams like Zimbabwe and Lesotho can confidently walk over past us without problems.

Previously, we used to have structures conducive for football development for a smooth transition into the main team and it paid dividends when our Flames made it to Angola in 2010 African Cup of Nations.

Peter Mponda, Hellings Mwakasungula, Robert Ng’ambi, Atusaye Nyondo, Russel Mwafulirwa, Joseph Kamwendo, James Chilapondwa, James Sangala, Swadick Sanudi, Elvis Kafoteka, Moses Chavula and many more players were products of junior teams from the under-15s, 17s, 20s and 23s.

Surprisingly, the current administration, despite being aware of how important the junior teams are when it comes to developing young talent, failed to have these teams running and when the 2010 Afcon squad disappeared, the national team was left in tatters too.

Russell Mwafulirwa
The era of players like Russell Mwafulirwa is needed.

In 2008, we had an Under-17 team that won the Zone Six championship in South Africa. As we are writing this, it’s only Limbikani Mzava who is around and ticking but the rest of the players who made it to shine are nowhere to be seen.

Recently, we had an under-20 team but after exiting the African Youth Championship, some of the players were forced to graduate to the main team because we had no under-23 for them to continue developing.

And now, we are hearing that our under-17 will take part at the Cosafa tournament in Mauritius but after the tournament, the group will be disbanded.

So even if the FA hires Jose Mourinho, Arsene Wenger, Pep Guardiola or any other coach in the world, should we honestly believe that they will take the team forward? Where will he get the players? For coaches to be successful, they need strong support from all angles. Imagine you have an old car.

Worn shocks, cracked and faded paint job. Broken gear box, faulty steering, flat and bald tyres.

You decide to improve the performance of the car, so you buy a new engine. And what happens next? The engine itself runs really well but the rest of the car cannot provide any real support or performance advantages to the vehicle.

The Flames team need to begin from youthful teams.

So you rip the engine out and put a bigger one but still more, the overall performance of the car does not improve, what’s next? That’s how FAM is running football into this country.

The association is failing to admit that it has failed by using coaches as scapegoats.

Put good structure in place, have well established junior national teams, make sure the local clubs to have active junior teams for developing talent, and sell the brand to the corporate world for financial support.

At Malawi24 we believe that once you do this, it will be easy to develop talent that will feed the main team and after this, it will be fair enough to fire a coach who is not delivering when everything is there.



  1. Amalawi tisanamizanepo vuto ndilakuti coach timampatsa thawiyochepa,kodi ndindani angapange team yabwino within one year?ngakhale kutabwela molinyo kapena feggason sizingate,chofunika coach adzipatsidwa thawiyaitala monga 3 to 5 years belive me tidzakhala ndi Team yabwino komanso Boma lathu lidziyika ndalama zokwana kumasewero ampila.


  3. Guys before we hate any one let us ask ourself. When do we win Afocon. We qulifly in 2010 in angola how many games do we win. Who do the goverment funding the teams. We hear always goverment do not have money i don’t thing FAM can keep the money for the youth development in there pocket.

  4. Kinnah Is The Best Of All, If It Oz Triaal Of Who Z Best? Then Solution Z Kinnah, Remember Wapulumutsako Ma Team Awiri 4m Raligation 1 4m South Africa & Mzuni, So Fam Must 3nk Wisely, I Dont Know Who Vote 4 Nyamilandu? I Hate That One Most.

  5. With the crop of players that we have coupled with their unambitious mindset Flames cannot do better. Keep firing and hiring coaches. Neither FAM nor coaches are the problem but the players.

  6. Koma aMalawi bwanji kukonda zakunja,Nanga Rhamadan tingamadalire kuti ndi coach.Taasiyeni othawa nkhondowa azipita mumakampu.Kinnah Phiri abwelere,Nyamirandu azipita.FAM president tisankhe wina.

  7. Walter Wanderes Nyamilandu is a main problem to our frames not coaches yesani kuchotsa Nyamilandu muwone zinthu zisintha. ..kumango kakamira mpando ngati ndi ufumu zija

  8. Need for total overhaul of football structures in Malawi,& withdrawal from all international commitments for at least 5 years

  9. The biggest problem those who choose,they look for some one who is popular not the one have enough wisedom.some can not be a prayer of football but knows how to couch and tell them what to do!you can see the same prayer always because the know each other so we must try other not the populars always they are fully of pride.

  10. Ngati Boma Silikwanitsa Kulemba Ntchito Coach Wakunja Kulibwino Flames Ayithetse Kwa Zaka Zingapo Kusiyana Ndi Kuti Tipitilire Kuona Nyasi Za Mpira. Mwinanso Nthawi Imene Idzayambeyo Tidzkhala Ndi Anthu Olongosoka Ku Fam Ma ‘ Life Members ‘ Alipowa Atachoka.

  11. To my own opinion FAM goofed at first for hiring Ntawali..bcoz the gentleman never coached a big team before and Ramadhan was the best candidate to be head coach assisted by him ( Ernest)…..In football experience and practical matters not just a certificate…

  12. Now you journalists you are pointing to the epic centre of gravity unlike before you were tribalizing and regionalizing the problems targeting Kinnah and other coaches. Malawians like to articulate problems another way round instead dealing with problems directly. We look on college paper in appointing people instead of performance history by the end we get wrong people in strategic places that why we are in this situation. You don’t cheat sports, you become vulnerable

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