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Be realistic, we can’t qualify

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I do not want to be part of those who are celebrating the news that Confederation of African Football (Caf) intends to increase the number of teams in the continental premier competition from 16 to 24 teams.

This was disclosed at a Caf symposium, where Malawi was represented by Football Association of Malawi (Fam) President Walter Nyamilandu, General Secretary Alfred Gunda and, of course, our pampered Flames’ Coach, Ronny van Geneugden.

Fam says it supports fully the proposal to increase the teams to 24 because it gives participating teams a realistic chance of qualifying and gives value to the investment made. I am surprised where Fam is getting its confidence.

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Realistically, it is sheer fantasy to imagine that the Flames can qualify for the finals when it cannot beat less fancied teams such as Mauritius.

It is sheer fantasy to imagine that the Flames can qualify for the Afcon finals when they can play for 270 minutes without scoring a goal, not even from an off side position.

If Fam is honest enough, they should admit that Flames are the only team back sliding in the Cosafa region as well as at the continental level.

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There is no way a country which has no sound football infrastructure, and whose administration is allergic to progress, can be dreaming of qualifying for such a prestigious continental showpiece.

Mark my words, even if the Flames played against two local clubs they cannot qualify for any tournament. That is how bad Malawi football has become.

The best teams are those that qualify for the tournament despite the circumstances, not those that would wait for Caf to increase the number of participating teams.

It pains a lot to see our football standards deteriorating and yet there are some people who think our football problems can be sorted out by employing an expatriate coach.

It requires a lot of courage to believe in the team that has made us suffer enough humiliation.

It is unfortunate that we are all trapped in a society where its people cannot distinguish excellence from mediocrity.

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