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Dennis Chembezi, 3 others doubtful

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DOUBTFUL—Idana

Malawi National Football Team’s preparations for the 2022 Cosafa Cup have suffered a setback after three Malawi-based players failed to report for camp on Monday due to injuries.

The Flames regrouped Monday at Chiwembe Technical Centre in preparation for the tournament, scheduled for July 5 to 17 in Durban, South Africa.

Football Association of Malawi (Fam) Communications and Competitions Director Gomezgani Zakazaka confirmed that Nyasa Big Bullets trio of Precious Sambani, Gomezgani Chirwa and Chimwemwe Idana have not joined camp due to injuries they suffered while on club duty on Saturday.

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“All the other players reported for camp and underwent Covid and medical tests,’’ Zakazaka said.

Zakazaka said Silver Strikers forward Stain Davie has a knock whereas Blue Eagles striker Schumacher Kuwali has been diagnosed with malaria.

In addition, Polokwane City defender Dennis Chembezi is doubtful for the Cosafa Cup due to a hamstring injury.

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Chembezi suffered the injury during the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Guinea, in which the Flames lost 1-0.

This could be a blow to Flames coach Marian Mario Marinica, who named a 30-member squad ahead of the tournament.

Marinica included vice captain John Banda of UD Songo, Simba SC winger Peter Banda and striker Khuda Muyaba of Polokwane.

Meanwhile, the Romanian has included in-form Bullets youngster Patrick Mwaungulu. The youngster, who has been in form for his club, scoring vital goals and creating chances, was expected to join camp yesterday.

However, Marinica was not readily available for a comment yesterday.

The Flames are in Group B of the Cosafa Cup alongside eSwatini, Lesotho and Mauritius.

They will start their Cosafa Cup campaign on July 6 against Lesotho at King Zwelithini Stadium before facing eSwatini at the same venue two days later.

Malawi will wrap up the group stages with Mauritius at Princess Magogo Stadium on July 10. Last year, The Flames failed to win a match in four matches, having lost two matches and drawn twice.

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