Mario Marinica: Romanian to lead Malawi at Africa Cup of Nations.

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Malawi players in action against Cameroon in World Cup qualifyingMalawi finished bottom of their 2022 World Cup qualifying group

Mario Marinica will lead Malawi at the Africa Cup of Nations after the country's football association (Fam) re-organised its technical set-up.

The Romanian had been appointed by Fam on a three-year contract as technical director of the national team last month.

The 56-year-old will now take temporary charge of the Flames, under the title of head of technical panel, with support from head coach Meck Mwase.

"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," a statement from Fam said.

Malawi finished bottom of their group in qualifying for the 2022 World Cup under Mwase, winning just one of their six games against Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Mozambique - a performance Fam described as "dismal".

The Flames have qualified for the Nations Cup for the first time since 2010, and have been drawn in Group B alongside Senegal, Zimbabwe and Guinea.

The tournament in Cameroon begins on 9 January and lasts until 6 February.

"We wish to advise that this special arrangement is an interim measure that is specific to the Africa Cup of Nations, only with the view to improving [the] performance of the Flames at this prestigious tournament," the Fam statement added.

"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."

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