By Mabvuto Kambuwe:
Malawi women’s national football team strikers Tabitha and Temwa Chawinga are expected to jet in on August 26, the very same day for airport and border shutdown demonstrations.
Human Rights Defenders Coalition has organised demonstrations to force Malawi Electoral Commission Chairperson Jane Ansah to step down.
The She-Flames face Kenya in the first leg of the 2020 Olympic qualifiers on August 28 at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre.
But, due to the demonstrations, the arrival of Tabitha and Temwa for the game might be affected.
In an interview, Tabitha confirmed that she was expected to arrive on August 26, just two days before the game.
“I might arrive on Monday but Temwa will leave Sweden on 24 or 25; so, she might also be in Malawi on Sunday or Monday. I am ready to play for my country after I missed the Cosafa Championship. The team is in good shape and we hope to do well against Kenya,” Tabitha said.
Tabitha, alongside Temwa and midfielder Madyina Ngulube, did not take part in the Cosafa Championship in South Africa due to club commitments and injuries.
She-Flames Coach, Abel Mkandawire, said he hoped to have a full squad for the match.
Kenya warmed up for the forthcoming match against Malawi with a 3-2 victory over Ethiopia on Saturday.
Kenya is also expected to arrive in the country next week for the match.
Kenya Coach David Ouma said his squad was ready for the Malawi clash.
“We have put a lot of effort in training and it has paid off if results against Ethiopia are anything to go by. It is time for me to assess how well my players have performed,” Xinhuanet.com quotes Ouma as saying.
Should the She-Flames progress to the next round, they would face the winner of another match between Ghana and Gabon in the qualifiers.
Malawi have never qualified for the Olympic Games since women’s football was introduced to the country.
During the Cosafa Championship, Malawi defeated Madagascar 2-0, lost 3-1 to South Africa and thrashed Comoros Islands 13-0.