Malawi national football team coach, Kinnah the special ‘one Phiri’, insisted that as long as the Flames receive full financial support to play on FIFA set calendar dates, he is confident that the team can retain their position in the FIFA Coca-Cola world ranking.
As of late, Kinnah has been a subject of criticism as his side has dropped six places in ranking, from two digits to three. Currently, the Flames occupy position 102.
In an interview, Kinnah reminded Malawians that the ranking depends on the team’s activity. “Malawians should remember that a team does well on a FIFA ranking when it is active. But if you are dormant, how do you expect to be ranked well? Since December up to now, you can see that we have just played once. Our friends were playing friendly matches. That’s why those who were active have gone ahead of us, because [the FIFA ranking] depends on the activity of a team.”
When asked if he still has the belief that he can steer the Flames back to a good position, Kinnah was full of confidence.
“Yes, I have that belief because as I said, FIFA ranking depends on a team’s activity, in June we are having a lot of games and if we can first start with a competitive friendly before those matches and win those matches I am telling you we would not remain on the same position 102,” Kinnah said
He added that “as long as the team is financially supported, so that we can be playing friendly matches on FIFA calendar dates, we can maintain our good position.”
When asked to comment on the matter, and why the Flames have not been playing in competitive friendly matches, Football Association of Malawi (FAM) general secretary Suzgo Nyirenda was buoyant that the flames can get back on track.
“For any team to be ranked well needs to play on a FIFA calendar dates and win. The team can get back on a good position. But on the issue about competitive friendly it’s not easy to find a team which is ranked highly than us most of the times they shun us for other better ranked teams. For example teams like south Africa, Egypt and Ghana they would only want to play very big teams like Colombia who are better ranked than them.”
“Malawians should understand that, as FAM we do our best to find a competitive match, we approach those strong teams but at the end we get a cold shoulder” said Nyirenda.
Nyirenda further added by saying that those teams which are currently doing well have sponsors, and he pleaded to the general public that should consider sponsoring the national team, so that it should blossom.
“The other thing is about sponsorship, those teams who are doing well at the moment they have sponsors, teams like Zambia, Zimbabwe have sponsors. When you have a sponsor it’s not difficult to be playing on these FIFA set date calendar and our team can really be on a very good position. But to only rely on government it Is difficult, we need those people who have companies to do something so that we can build a very good national team,” he said.