Mabedi told to lead Flames to 2025 Afcon

Patrick Mabedi is coach of the Malawi National Football Team

The Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has given newly employed Flames head coach Patrick Mabedi three main targets, including taking the Flames to the 2025 Africa Cup of Nations finals.

The former national team skipper was given a two-year deal by FAM’ Emergency Committee meeting which was held on Saturday in accordance with Article 46 of the association.

Chaired by President Walter Nyamilandu, alongside his 1st vice President Jabbar Alide, 2nd vice president Othaniel Hara and committee member Chimango Munthali, the meeting agreed to employ Mabedi on a permanent basis following his good performance when he took over from Marian Mario Marinica who was fired after the team performed poorly in the 2023 Afcon qualifiers.

“The Emergency Committee has given its approval to the recommendation put forth by the FAM Technical Committee to appoint Mr. Patrick Mabedi as the Malawi Senior Men’s National team Coach on a two-year contract. Specific targets and a roadmap have been established to support continuous high-performance standards. The overarching vision is for the Flames to qualify for the 2025 AFCON tournament in Morocco. The Committee has full confidence in Mr. Mabedi’s abilities to steer this ambitious project toward success,” reads part of the statement.

The committee has given Mabedi a target of making it to Afcon finals, a target of finishing in the top 2 of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers and achieving at least a semi-final placement in the COSAFA tournament, which is viewed as a developmental opportunity for the senior national team.

“Mr. Mabedi’s immediate responsibility is to prepare the team for the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. The team is scheduled to play two matches next month, one against Liberia in Monrovia and the other against Tunisia in Lilongwe. It is important to note that Mr. Mabedi’s appointment is contingent upon reaching an agreement on the specified targets and personal terms,” reads the presser.

The tactician was in charge of Malawi’s two final Afcon qualifying matches against Ethiopia and Guinea in which the team played out to a goalless and 1-1 draws to finish third behind Egypt and Guinea.

At Cosafa, Malawi reached the last four of the competition for the first time in two decades before being eliminated by Lesotho on post-match penalties following a 1-1 result in the normal time. The team went on to finish fourth after they lost to South Africa on penalties.

The meeting also agreed to reach out to Malawi Government for the supplementary budget to fund the team as currently, there are no funds for the team for the upcoming 2026 FIFA World Cup back-to-back qualifying matches against Liberia and Tunisia next month.

“The Committee also considered funding for the World Cup Qualifiers slated for November 2023. The Committee resolved that the budgetary requirements for the two matches should this week be escalated to government for supplementary budget allocation after it was informed that there are no funds to support the Flames’ assignments. Subject to funding, Flames is expected to go into camp next week,” continued the presser.

The executive further recommended to have a permanent position for the Scorchers coach as part of continuity. It proposed to Malawi Government to give Lovemore Fazili a two-year contract following his success with the team at the just ended Hollywood Bet Cosafa Women’s Championship which was won by the team for the first time in history.

“To ensure the sustained progress and development of the Malawi Women’s National Football team, The Scorchers, the Committee has resolved to recommend the establishment of a permanent Scorchers Coach position. This coach will be in charge of the Scorchers on a full-time basis. The Committee has resolved to propose to government the recruitment of Lovemore Fazili for this position, with a two-year contract in mind.”

“It is worth noting that currently, government support includes remuneration for the men’s senior national team, as well as the Under 20 and Under 17 boys’ national teams. The establishment of a permanent Scorchers Coach position is expected to contribute to the ongoing growth and success of the team,” he concluded.