The National Youth Football Association (NYFA) has slammed the Malawi National Under 20 Team selection saying the technical panel has snubbed eligible talent in favour of overaged players.
The team goes into camp on Monday to continue its preparations for the forthcoming COSAFA Youth Championship starting on December 6, in Zambia.
The 28 man squad has 20 Super League players, 4 from the regional leagues and 3 drawn from the FMB Under 20 league.
One Aziel Johnson whose parents are based in Zimbabwe, will join from St Benedicts in the United States of America.
Premier Bet Wizards have dominated places in the squad after contributing 5 players.
This has not gone down well with the NYFA, administrators of the FMB Under 20 league which is played in 12 districts of Malawi.
President Chimango Munthali and his Secretary Thoko Chimbali have taken turns to punch holes into the selection for targeting instant results over future glory.
Munthali described it as a “cascaded problem. Living for today not tomorrow.”
He added: “We have two options, to focus on either winning or winning and development. We have opted for a short term goal. I support the team because am Malawian but I don’t support the short term thinking,” fumed Munthali.
Chimbali then chipped in by questioning the ages of some of the players.
“These people better start listening to others. Why are they snubbing genuine Under 20 players for these old lads. Just at the weekend we had FMB under 20 regional finals but the national coaches were nowhere to be seen. This is heart breaking when I look at the talent in our league and someone thinks they are not good enough for the Junior Flames,” lamented Chimbali.
Some of the players suspected to be overaged are Mike Mkwate of Nyasa Big Bullets, Wizards quartet of Mishek Bottoman, Kelvin Kadzinje, Patrick Phiri and Sydney Chabulika.
Others are Silver Strikers midfielder Levison Maganizo, Gregory Nachipo of Blue Eagles and Dwangwa United’s Ben Manyozo.
This is not the first time NYFA, an affiliate of the Football Association of Malawi (FAM), has publicly raised its eyebrows over junior national team selection.
A month ago they initiated the expulsion from camp of a number of players including the Silver duo of mark Fodya and Trevor Kalema after proving their overaged status.
The men at the helm of the team selection are head coach Gerald Phiri and his assistants Peter Mponda and Decklek Msakakuona.
Senior national team coach Ron Van Geneugden is the overall boss of the technical crew.
Malawi is in Pool A of the competition alongside hosts and holders Zambia, Swaziland and guest nation Uganda.