Malawi have named Romanian Mario Marinica as the coach to lead the Flames at the forthcoming Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals with incumbent Meck Mwase demoted diplomatically.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) have announced the changes through a statement today Sunday, saying their Executive Committee arrived at the decision at a meeting held on Saturday.
FAM hired Marinica as technical director two weeks ago and announced that he would, among other roles, be involved in analysing opponents for the Flames, raising questions on his actual mandate.
Such questions got answered when FAM announced that Marinica will be the overall head for the Flames who were grouped alongside Guinea, Senegal and Zimbabwe at Afcon finals which kicks off next month in Cameroon.
“This comes against the background of the Flames’ dismal performance at the just ended Qatar 2022 World Cup Qualifiers, where the team ended bottom of the table. Upon reflection, it has become very clear that the team has technical and tactical deficiencies that have to be worked on in order to turn around its performance,” FAM general secretary Alfred Gunda says in the statement.
“After careful consideration, the Executive Committee approved that that new Technical Director, Marian Mario Marinica should temporarily take charge of the Flames as Head of Technical Panel supported by Meck Mwase.”
FAM also announced the hiring of Data Analyst Ged Searson and Sports Psychologist Clwyd Jones.
“However, realising the enormity of the gap that has to be closed and the daunting task that lies ahead, the Executive Committee approved the hiring of a professional Data Analyst and Sports Pyschologist to work with the team,” Gunda added.
“We wish to advise that this special arrangement is an interim measure that is specific to the Total Energies Africa Cup of Nations, Cameroun 2022 only with the view to improving performance of the Flames at this prestigious tournament. It is our expectation that during this period, Meck Mwase and his counterparts will learn from the new Technical Director as he introduces a new philosophy to improve style of play.”
Malawi coaching panel:
Head of Technical Panel – Marian Mario Marinica
Coach – Meck Mwase
1st Assistant Coach – Lovemore Fazili
2nd Assistant Coach – Bob Mpinganjira
Data Analyst – Ged Searson
Sports Psychologist – Clwyd Jones
Physiotherapist – Chikondi Mandalasi
Team Doctor – Gift Ligomeka
Team Manager – Clement Kafwafwa