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Covid-19 hits Flames

Flames in a previous camping

Football Association of Malawi (Fam) says two Malawi national football team players and two officials tested positive for Covid-19.

The Flames regrouped Monday at Mpira Village in Blantyre ahead of upcoming competitions including Cosafa Cup and Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers in November this year.

However, in a statement, the association said the results of the tests were negative except for two players and two officials. Fam said all strict measures will be followed while the team is in camp.

“Following the decision by the Presidential Covid-19 Task Force to allow the Malawi Men’s Senior National Team start camp training in preparation for the forthcoming international assignments. Fam undertook a precautionary measure of testing all the selected local players, officials and secretariat members of staff that are directly involved in providing support services to the national team when it’s in camp,” reads part of the statement.

“We wish to report that the outcome of the tests were negative except for two players and two officials whose names will not be disclosed to maintain their privacy. Further to this development, we wish to report all the four cases were asymptomatic. They are currently in isolation being monitored by our medical team and it is expected that they will be able to report for national duty once they test negative from the day when they tested positive in line with National MOH guidelines on Covid-19.”

Fam is this week expected to confirm its participation in Cosafa tournament as uncertainty surrounds the regional showpiece as South African government is yet to give its consent.

Flames will meet Burkina Faso in the Afcon campaign in November.

One of the local coaches, Milias Pofera urged everyone to exercise caution.

“Covid-19 is real and we need to make sure that we stay safe,” Pofera said.

In the Afcon qualifiers, the Flames are third in Group B with three points having defeated South Sudan 1-0 whereas Uganda and Burkina Faso are joint leaders with four points from two rounds of matches.

Football analyst, Higger Mkandawire, said Fam should ensure that players and officials follow all preventive measures.

“Fam should make sure that all players should not visit public places. The safety of the players and officials is very important,” he added.

The association already put strict conditions for Flames camping including disinfecting Mpira Village and testing for the players. In addition, Flames players are also not allowed to go to public places while in camp due to the pandemic.

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