Boost for Flames’ Saudi Arabia trip


Malawi National Football Team Coach Mario Marian Marinica has said there is a high possibility that three foreign country-based players will travel with the team for a two-week camp in Saudi Arabia.

The Flames will face Lesotho in an international friendly at Bingu National Stadium Saturday as part of preparations for the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifying matches against Egypt next month.

However, Marinica said it will be pre-mature to disclose the names of the players as discussions with their respective clubs are underway.


“There is a very good chance to have at least three foreign players. For locals, we have approached the club on player by player basis,’’ Marinica said.

So far, defender Charles Petro is already in camp with the team as he is waiting for his visa to join Romanian club Botosani.

Inside sources indicate Francisco Madinga, who joined Botswana club Jwaneng Galaxy, and Simba SC attacking midfielder Peter Banda are some of the players expected to travel with the team to Saudi Arabia.


Midfielder Chimwemwe Idana, who joined Silver Strikers on loan from Mbeya  City, has also joined Flames camp ahead of tomorrow’s match.

Both local and foreign clubs are at liberty not to release players outside the Fifa international window. Fifa rules and regulations state that clubs are supposed to be released four days before match day.

Technical Support Team Manager James Sangala said some foreign clubs were flexible to release the players.

“We got the greenlight from some clubs but they have not officially communicated to us,’’ Sangala said.

The Flames are expected to travel to Saudi Arabia on March 8, when they play a series of friendlies before flying to Egypt for the first leg on March 24 in Cairo. The majority of professional players will fly straight to Egypt from their respective bases.

Malawi is second in Group D with three points behind leaders Ethiopia on goal difference. Guinea and Egypt are third and fourth, respectively.

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