Warriors plunge Malawi into crisis

HARARE - There is pandemonium, anger and grief in Malawi as the nation is still trying to come to terms with Saturday’s events at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre.

An ill-prepared Zimbabwe national football team left a trail of destruction in the southern African country following their 2-1 victory over the Flames in a 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Cup Group L qualifier.

The Warriors prevailed over the hosts courtesy of a first half strike from forward Cuthbert Malajila and Khama Billiat’s wonder strike seven minutes from time.

The Flames, who enjoy a lot of government sponsorship and an endorsement deal with global brewing giant Carlsberg, had equalised shortly after Malajila’s goal when John Banda capitalised on a lapse in concentration inside the Warriors box.

According to Malawi24, the Malawian Congress Party MP Louis Chikwantha will push a motion in Parliament this week to discuss the Flames defeat to the Warriors.

“I have been wondering for a long time why Malawians have not complained on this,” he said referring to the Flames huge budget provided by government.

Flames coach Young Chimodzi has also come under increasing pressure and suffered a lot of abuse from angry fans at the final whistle on Saturday.Flames coach Young Chimodzi was also sacked yesterday following a Football Association of Malawi (Fam) emergency meeting.

“At its Emergency Executive Committee meeting held on 14th June 2015 at the Chiwembe Technical Centre in Blantyre, the Football Association of Malawi (Fam has resolved to recommend to Malawi Government not to renew the contracts of employment of the current Malawi national football team's Head Coach and His Assistant which are due for expiry on 31st July 2015,” Fam said in a statement.

“Fam would like to note that it has lost confidence in the coaches due to poor performance of the Malawi national football team generally during their term of engagement culminating into the recent loss to the Zimbabwe national football team.”

Chimodzi’s grip on the squad has also been questioned after reports that Flames skipper Joseph Kamwendo refused to be substituted to be replaced by CAPS United midfielder Gerald Phiri Jr when the scores when still 1-1.

Zimbabwe’s squad for the tie was only named on Tuesday afternoon after the intervention of Sport minister Andrew Langa.

Warriors coach Calisto Pasuwa had refused to name the squad in protest of his unpaid salaries and bonuses by the under-fire Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa).

Langa personally called Pasuwa and assured the former Dynamos coach that the government would see that his outstanding dues are pad up.

On Wednesday, the team finally held two training sessions but it was not intense since they were scheduled to fly to Blantyre on Thursday afternoon.

Thursday’s departure was abandoned after the players refused to go to the airport unless they had been paid their allowances and match fees by Zifa.

Prophetic Healing and Deliverance leader Walter Magaya took it upon himself and personally addressed the issue of the payments while the Zifa leadership was nowhere to be seen.

Magaya was able to resolve the dispute in the wee hours of Friday morning to pave way for the Warriors trip to Blantyre.

The squad finally left Harare just before midday on Friday and arrived in the Malawian capital that same night with the match scheduled or a few hours later on Saturday.

With the chaos in the Warriors camp unfolding like a soap opera, Malawi had been preparing for this tie for over a month.

The Flames fans expected nothing short than a victory considering their national team had finished third at last month’s Cosafa Senior Challenge Cup, where the Warriors had failed to progress from the group stages.

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