Malawi's women head coach Stuart Mbolembole says his side's hiatus was why Tabitha Chawinga was 'robbed' of her place in the final shortlist for the African Women's Player of the Year 2017.
Chawinga's omission has been widely criticized as the 21-year-old won the Swedish Damallsvenskan golden boot with Kvarnsveden, scoring 26 goals and also finished second top scorer at the Cosafa Women's Cup with nine goals.
And despite the gaffer had fancied his forward as the favorite to claim the prize, he blamed her exclusion on the country's inability to compete at international events.
"Generally, Tabitha is an amazing footballer with great talent," Mbolembole told Goal.
"I have known her from her tender age when she was brought from her village to play for a top club in Malawi - that's D.D Sunshine and she was good.
"Immediately, she was drafted into the senior team to participate in the Cosafa tournament that time.
He said: "I think when she was spotted by some agents and went to play in Sweden. She has been an outstanding player there to the extent she got the golden boot this season. She has been very good.
"I think she has been robbed of the Caf nomination simply because of the fact that Malawi as not consistent on the international stage and not a regular participant in the continental games.
"She is one of the best and one of the talented players I have come across in Malawi. The latest exclusion of her is because Malawi does not constantly feature in many competitions where people could see how good she is capable of doing in football," he concluded.