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Covid fever grips Flames

Another test slated for today

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Alfred Gunda

Football Association of Malawi (Fam) is keeping fingers crossed on how many players will pass another Covid-19 test ahead of the Flames’ departure on Monday for Cosafa Cup.

The Cosafa Cup runs from July 6-18 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

Eight players out of 34 local players and assistant coach Bob Mpinganjira tested positive for Covid-19 on Tuesday.

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Fam General Secretary Alfred Gunda confirmed that the Flames players and technical staff were expected to go for another test before departure on Monday.

“Preparations are still going on and we will have another test on Saturday [today]. The final squad will be determined by the results of the tests,” Gunda said.

The Flames regrouped on Tuesday minus goalkeeper Brighton Munthali, Stain Davie, Paul Ndhlovu, Yamikani Chester, Anthony Mfune, Gaddie Chirwa, Peter Cholopi, Gomezgani Chirwa and Chikondi Kamanga.

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However, details indicate that Kamanga tested negative after he returned to his club Silver Strikers but has not been recalled.

Flames coach Meck Mwase is still in isolation pending his follow-up test today.

In the absence of Mwase, his assistant Lovemore Fazili is in charge of the team. Five foreign-based players have been included in the provisional squad namely Tawonga Chimodzi, Khuda Muyaba, Dennis Chembezi, Schumacher Kuwali and Ndaziona Chatsalira.

Sports analyst, George Kaudza-Masina said it was important for the Flames to have its best players at the regional showpiece.

“It is my hope that the results will be good so that the best players are included in the Cosafa Cup squad,” he added.

The Flames are in Group B alongside Zambia, Madagascar and Comoros Islands.

Malawi will start Cosafa Cup against Madagascar on July 7 at Isaac Wolfson Stadium before meeting Comoros three days later at the same venue.

The team will wrap up group stages with a date against defending champions Zambia at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on July 13.

Malawi has never won the Cosafa Cup but finished as runners-up in 2002 and 2003.

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