Malawi National Beach Soccer Team has been accorded the honour of inaugurating the state-of-the-art bus that FDH Bank bought for the Malawi National Football Team.
The beach soccer team will use the K190 million Yutong bus for its trip to the Beach Soccer Africa Cup of Nations scheduled for October 21 to 28 at Vilankulo in Mozambique.
Football Association of Malawi (Fam) President Walter Nyamilandu said they expect an exciting and eventful road trip.
“Our beach soccer team deserves to become the first to use this brand new bus after making us proud by qualifying for the continental competition. The team will go to Vilankulo by road as a cost-cutting measure. But we expect an exciting road trip,” Nyamilandu said.
He said they are making arrangements for the team to leave early so that it acclimatises to the weather in the Indian Ocean coastal town.
“We are still working on the dates of departure but we want the team to have enough time to acclimatise before the competition kicks off,” Nyamilandu said.
Beach Soccer Association President Gift Chimbalanga said the team is finalising its preparations at Livingstonia Beach on the shores of Lake Malawi in Salima.
“We are making good progress with our preparations and we had some friendlies over the weekend. All what remains is for Fam to communicate our dates of departure. We started with a big squad but we have trimmed it down to a manageable size.
“We will go to the tournament with about 12 players and five officials. But we will still have space for others to join us so that they appreciate what is involved in beach soccer. This will be an opportunity for other stakeholders to join us and enjoy our matches in Mozambique,” Chimbalanga said.
Malawi are in Group A of the competition alongside hosts Mozambique, Nigeria and Morocco while Group B has defending champions Senegal, Uganda, Madagascar and Egypt.
It is a maiden appearance at the beach soccer finals for Malawi but Nigeria were bronze medalists in 2015 and finalists in 2016 and 2018 while Morocco are regular participants in the finals, finishing with bronze in the last edition.
Malawi qualified for the finals on the away goals rule after an 8-8 stalemate with Tanzania.