Ronny van Geneugden (RVG) is like a garden boy who has gone out of bounds, abandoned the lawn and started cleaning the bedroom of his willing master.
Little wonder, some members of Football Association of Malawi’s (Fam) family are so uncomfortable with the sight of the Belgian in restricted corridors of power at Mpira Village. Blame it on Fam.
The unholy alliance between RVG and some top brass at Fam came to the fore during the week when his ill-informed appointments of his assistants and junior national team coaches, left Mpira Village shaking to an earth tremor of calculable magnitude.
The appointments of even under-qualified coaches in panels of national teams when Fam has invested in over 60 Caf B and A licence holders suggest that Club Licensing System is another sham.
RVG has suddenly amassed so much power that he is employing fellow coaches, in the process rendering Fam’s Technical Director (TD), John Kaputa—who is supposed to be RVG’s boss—and Fam’s Youth and Technical Committee, useless.
If you ask me, RVG is a mere employee of Fam just like fellow coaches for the under-17 and 20 national teams.
It is fine for RVG to propose names of his backroom team. In fact, he was supposed to bring his backroom team, but to extend his jurisdiction to junior national teams in the name of spreading his football philosophy is taking matters too far.
RVG and Fam are in a catch 22 situation because the coach will be judged by his performance with the Flames while at the same time he is expected to develop a new football blueprint across the board. All within two years!
Developing football cannot happen top-bottom but the other way round, and if anything Fam should have swallowed its pride and told the nation that the Belgian is a Football Director.
If Jose Mourinho does not appoint coaches for the reserves and junior teams at Manchester United, then where is the Belgian getting all these powers?
We knew last year that RVG did not find Gerald Phiri Senior and Deklerk Msakakuona good ‘yes bwanas’ and one would have expected Fam to start the process of recruiting their replacements months ago.
Now you have a situation where Fam is having to seek permission for the services of Patrick Mabedi from South Africa’s Kaizer Chiefs when his appointment was already announced.
Amakhosi have snubbed Fam. Chiefs are very organised and it is clear they did not like the amateurish approach.
And how did RVG know that Mabedi is a suitable man to be his deputy? Such positions are about trust and trust is built over a period of time.
And did Chiefs really mean that it was Fam President, Walter Nyamilandu, who watered down his high office to write a mere club—not even South Africa Football Association—seeking the release of Mabedi?
The temporary absence of General Secretary Alfred Gunda does not justify the fact that the whole big boss wrote a letter to Chiefs. A TD, secretary or Fam’s director of finance and administration could have done that.
Sober people should not be surprised with the latest happenings at Fam because RVG is an employee of a broken system that has taken shortcuts to a new level.
Remember how Fam hired consultant Andy Dell and freelance coach Tom Saintfiet for the Flames? For all the money that was paid to Dell and Saintfiet, what did the Flames gain?
RVG was head-hunted all the way from Belgium and there is nothing to suggest that there was a panel that oversaw the recruitment process. These are Wikipedia appointments.
All these appointments are about one or two guys at Fam bulldozing their way into restricted areas.
Pillars of corporate governance at Fam are crumbling and soon, the inevitable is bound to happen. You