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Debate on Under-20

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With Malawi Under-20 National Football Team set for revival ahead of the Cosafa Junior Championship, there is debate on whether the Under-17 team should be promoted to participate in the regional showpiece scheduled for South Africa from December 7.

Football Association of Malawi’s (Fam) Youth and Technical Sub-committee will, during today’s meeting in Mzuzu, recommend on the composition of the Under-20 team, including the identity of a coach.

However, Fam Technical Director, John Kaputa, believes promoting the Under-17 will be solving a problem while also creating another one, adding that he would prefer identifying another batch of talent for the forthcoming competition.

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“The Under-17 has not graduated to the Under-20 team. The team has not even been together for a year. Promoting the Under-17 would be creating a gap for the Under-20 team. We need Under-15, Under-17, Under-20 and Under-23 national teams,” he said on Thursday.

Since winning bronze medal during the Cosafa Youth Championship held in Mauritius two months ago, the Under-17 has been dormant.

Kaputa insisted that the Under-17 players were actively playing for their respective clubs in the FMB Under-20 League.

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He was, however, quick to stress that Fam’s meeting will decide on the selection of the Under-20 players ahead of Group B preliminary round battles against Zambia and Zimbabwe.

A top team from each of the four groups will qualify for the semifinals after playing against each other in a round-robin format.

“It is a tough group, but all of us were under one Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland during the colonial days, so we know each other well. There is no need to be afraid. What matters is how we prepare,” Kaputa added.

Under-17 Coach, Derklerk Msakakuona, on Thursday said he will respect Fam’s decision on the Under-20, adding it was better to maintain the Under-17 for two years.

However, veteran coach, Yasin Osman, said some Under-17 players deserve promotion to the Under-20 so as to follow a development process.

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