Romanian Mario Marinica has been fired as Malawi coach after a 4-0 home loss to Egypt in a 2023 Africa Cup of Nations Cup qualifier, a football association official confirmed on Sunday.
The embarrassing defeat in Lilongwe, capital of the central African country, left the Flames with little hope of reaching the finals in the Ivory Coast.
Malawi trail co-leaders Egypt and Guinea by six points and must win their remaining Group D fixtures away to Ethiopia in June and at home to Guinea in September to have any chance.
Group winners and runners-up qualify for the biennial tournament, and Malawi performed well under Marinica at the 2021 edition in Cameroon before losing 2-1 to Morocco in the round of 16.
The 58-year-old Romanian worked with Meck Mwase at the Cup of Nations and there have been public calls for the Malawian to take over a team ranked 124th in the world.
Marinica was critical of local supporters after the midweek drubbing by Egypt, accusing them of backing the record seven-time Cup of Nations winners.
“I do not think Malawians love their national team. They cheered for Egypt, but not for Malawi,” he told reporters.