The Malawi Defence Force (MDF) has secured the services of some top Super League players who have been recruited as career soldiers.
Top players that have joined the military include Civo Service United striker Raphael Phiri, Ekwendeni Hammers defender Maneno Nyoni and Karonga United defender Lukeselo Malemia.
The three players are reported to have joined the military on Moyale Barrack’s ticket.
Other military teams, namely Red Lions and Kamuzu Barracks, have also reportedly sent some players for military training.
Phiri was included in the Meck Mwase local squad currently in camp preparing for the crucial Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifying matches against South Sudan and Uganda next month.
However, the player (Phiri) excused himself from camp and was absent from Civo’s training for two consecutive days.
He confirmed that he was at Malawi Armed Forces College (Mafco) in Salima for military training.
“I have been in touch with Flames coach Meck Mwase and I requested that I be allowed to report for camp next time,” Phiri said.
He is one of the most sought after strikers on the domestic soccer scene. The red-hot striker has been on the radar of giants Nyasa Big Bullets, Silver Strikers and Mighty Wanderers.
Moyale Barracks General Secretary Flow Mwale was reluctant to comment on Phiri’s deal.
“We cannot comment on players from civilian teams,” he said.
Suwedi Limbani from Moyale has also joined the military.
Mwase confirmed that Phiri informed him that he would not be able to honour Flames call -up.
“He told us that he wanted to try his luck and we accepted his request,” the former TN Stars coach said.
Reports suggest that, after completion of training, Phiri would join Moyale Barracks.
However, Civo General Secretary Ronald Chiwaula insisted that Phiri has a contract with the club.
“We are waiting for communication from him (Raphael) because he is not reporting for duties. He still has a running contract with the club and he should respect it,” Chiwaula said Thursday.
Last year, former Mighty Wanderers goalkeeper Nenani Juwaya was a high-profile goalkeeper to join the military.
He is currently with Red Lions, where he has struggled for game time.