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Afcon draw June 25

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George Chiusiwa

Malawi National Football Team will know its group stages opponents in next year’s Total Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals during a draw slated for June 25.

This follows Confederation of African Football (Caf) executive committee meeting held this week after the conclusion of the final rounds of the qualifiers.

Caf also confirmed that the finals of the competition will take place from January 9 to February 6 next year in Cameroon.

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“The executive committee unanimously approved the proposed date for the organisation of the draw and Total Afcon finals,” reads part of the statement released by Caf on Thursday.

According to draw format, top ranked teams are seeded and are put in pot one. This means Malawi will likely be paired against Africa heavy weights such as Senegal, Algeria, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, Egypt and Tunisia.

The other 23 spots for the tournament have been confirmed including hosts Cameroon, reigning champions Algeria and Malawi but one spot is remaining as Sierra Leone and Benin will meet in a decider in June.

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The Group L fixture which was scheduled for last Tuesday was postponed to June due to Covid-19 controversy.

Local sports analyst George Chiusiwa said the Flames should go to Afcon finals to compete.

“We should make sure we play more friendlies to expose some of the local players. We will meet the best teams in Africa so we should be well prepared,” he added.

The Flames qualified for next year’s finals after beating Uganda 1-0 thanks to Richard Mbulu’s goal at Kamuzu Stadium on Monday.

Malawi have finished second in Group B with 10 points, two points behind Burkina Faso.

Football Association of Malawi (Fam) President Walter Nyamilandu said on Thursday that the Flames needed K1.1 billion for both Afcon finals and World Cup qualifiers.

Comoros Islands and Gambia will be the only two teams making their first-ever appearance at the Afcon finals.

The Flames will be making a third appearance at the continental football showpiece finals having made debut in 1984 in Ivory Coast before qualifying again in 2010 in Angola.

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