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Caf rebuffs Fam request

Scorchers to face Zambia at Bingu National Stadium not Mpira Stadium

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Suzgo Ngwira

Confederation of African Football (Caf) has rejected Football Association of Malawi (Fam)‘s request to have the Scorchers match against Zambia’s Copper Queens played at Mpira Stadium instead of Bingu National Stadium.

The Scorchers are expected to host Zambia in the first leg of Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers on Wednesday at BNS before travelling to Lusaka, Zambia, for the return leg a week later.

Initially, Fam had written Caf requesting that the clash be played at Mpira Stadium due to logistical arrangements.

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However, in a response to Fam, Caf insisted that the match will take place at BNS in Lilongwe.

Fam General Secretary Alfred Gunda, who last week confirmed that the association wrote Caf, was unavailable for his comment Sunday.

Details indicate that Fam wanted the match played at their own facility to reduce expenses associated with travelling to Lilongwe for the match.

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The Scorchers had been in camp at Chiwembe Technical Centre in Blantyre, having returned from Cosafa Cup.

However, the team Sunday was expected to relocate to Lilongwe ahead of the clash.

National Women’s Football Association Chairperson Suzgo Ngwira confirmed that the match will take place at BNS.

“I am still waiting for other details but I know the match will take place in Lilongwe,” she added.

Scorchers will be without China-based Chawinga sisters Tabitha and Temwa (both Wuhan FC) due to travel restrictions. On the other hand, Zambia would also miss captain Babra Banda, who is also in China.

The last time Malawi and Zambia met was in the 2020 Cosafa Women’s Championship held in South Africa, with the Scorchers coming out 1-0 winners courtesy of Temwa Chawinga’s goal.

Malawi last took part in the Afcon qualifiers in 2012 when, they were eliminated after losing 9-4 to the Copper Queens on aggregate.

However, the Scorchers are full of confidence after finishing as runner-up at the just ended Cosafa Cup after suffering 1-0 loss to eventual winner Tanzania.

On the other hand, Zambia won bronze after beating South Africa 4-3 on post-match penalties.

The overall winner between Malawi and Zambia will face either Tanzania or Namibia in the second round of the qualifiers.

A total of 44 teams are expected to fight for 11 slots at the women’s finals to be staged in Morocco next year.

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