Egypt FA raises cholera alert
Wants game outside Malawi
Egyptian Football Association (EFA) has lodged a complaint with Confederation of African Football (Caf) claiming it is not safe to play in Malawi due to the cholera outbreak.
The Flames are expected to host the Pharaohs of Egypt in the 2024 TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers at Bingu National Stadium on March 27, just four days after the first leg in Cairo.
The Egyptian FA wanted the match to be played outside Malawi on health grounds despite the facility passing Caf test last month.
However, Football Association of Malawi (Fam) has assured Caf that the situation is under control in the country.
Fam President Walter Nyamilandu confirmed that Caf sought clarification on the cholera outbreak situation in the country following the complaint from the Egyptian FA.
“We have since advised Caf that the epidemic is under control with health and safety interventions being taken by the Ministry of Health to arrest the situation. We have also advised Caf that during this period of cholera outbreak, BNS successfully hosted major sporting events such as the Region 5 Youth Games and the African Schools Championship,” Nyamilandu said.
He described the conduct of the Egyptian FA as mind games ahead of the crucial Afcon qualifier.
“We are focused on this crucial fixture, and we will not be distracted by the psychological pressure,” he said.
The Flames Malawi-based players have relocated to Lilongwe, having camped in Blantyre for two weeks.
Malawi will face Lesotho in an international friendly at BNS on Saturday as part of preparations for Afcon qualifying matches against Egypt.
Sports analyst Parry Chinyama also said Egyptian FA was playing mind games.
Meanwhile, defender-cum midfielder Charles Petro is part of the squad camping in Lilongwe.
Petro is waiting for his visa to join Romanian side Botosani FC.
“It is a huge advantage for Charles since around September/October, he had no proper club training,” Flames coach Mario Marinica said.
Silver Strikers players who missed last week’s camp have joined camp in Lilongwe.
Mighty Mukuru Wanderers players were expected to join camp last night.
Group D is wide open as all the four teams have three points each. The Flames are second, just behind Ethiopia, on goal difference.
Guinea and Egypt are third and fourth, respectively.