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3 Flames players remain in Saudi Arabia

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Gomezgani Zakazaka

Malawi National Football Team touched down in Cameroon for the Africa Cup of Nations finals from a 10- day training camp in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, without three key players.

The players are defenders Charles Petro and Mark Fodya, and striker Richard Mbulu.

The three were left behind in the oil-rich Asian giant after testing positive for Covid.

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Football Association of Malawi (Fam) Competitions and Communications Director Gomezgani Zakazaka said the trio will have another test today and will fly out on Friday should they test negative.

“We have been having Covid tests at least every 72 hours. It was during Monday tests that the three were declared positive. They are currently in isolation in Jeddah. Liaison Officer James Sangala remained behind with the three, who will rejoin the team once they are cleared,” Zakazaka said.

Sixteen players and 11 officials travelled from Jeddah and were joined by four players and four officials at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa.

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The four players are goalkeeper Charles Thom, defender Gomezgani Chirwa and midfielders Chimwemwe Idana and Peter Banda.

The four officials are Fam President Walter Nyamilandu, Malaw’s Afcon Head of Delegation Tiya Somba Banda, Covid Officer Precious Kadzamira and kit master Richard Justin.

The Flames flew to Douala in the afternoon, from where they connected to their Bafoussam base.

The Flames will start their campaign on Monday with a tie against Guinea before taking on Zimbabwe on January 14.

They will wind up their assignments with a showdown against Senegal on January 18.

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