Malawi coach Mario Marinica has slammed the treatment of smaller countries at the Africa Cup of Nations after his side’s round of 16 loss to Morocco – and slammed one of the stars of Liverpool.
Marinica insisted that bigger teams with more popular players get preferential treatment, saying: ‘You don’t see Sadio Mane washing his own underpants.
Marinica has been placed in temporary charge of the African minnows for the tournament in Cameroon.
His side withdrew from the AFCON in the round of 16 on Tuesday after PSG’s Achraf Hakimi fired a stunning free-kick for Morocco with 20 minutes to spare to send Malawi out of the competition.
And, after their exit, Marinica revealed his side had to do their own laundry as he blamed officials for favoring nations with the biggest names.
He said: “You wouldn’t see Sadio Mane washing his own underwear and hanging them on a bush to dry.
“The Gambia have the same problem, and there are different standards here, teams are treated differently.
“We talk about inclusion, we want to have minnows, small teams that do fantastic things, but when it comes to the last stages, people don’t like that we play against Cape Verde and not Senegal against the Morocco.
“Some questions need to be asked; why do these things happen to us, why only to small teams, why only to Comoros, to Gambia, to us?”
Against all odds, Malawi qualified for the round of 16 by finishing third in their group after beating Zimbabwe and earning a stunning draw with Mane’s Senegal.
And despite his team’s valiant run in the competition, Marinica has continued to throw no punches in his assessment of how smaller countries are treated.
Marinica followed through on her gripes, hoping things will change for smaller nations in the future.
He added: “I have asked my colleagues and team leaders to file a formal complaint.
“I complained to the managers of the estate, and at the present moment [hotel] we struggled for three days before things were settled.
“I couldn’t have milk for the coffee, they said the milk was finished until tomorrow.
“We are treated like second-class citizens, but if you are a hotel manager and you see this happening, you take matters into your own hands, you can’t afford that these days at this level of competition. “
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