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Fam defends Peter Mponda’s Under-23 role

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By Mabvuto Kambuwe:

Football Association of Malawi (Fam) has defended the appointment of Flames legend Peter Mponda as Malawi national under-23 team assistant Coach.

Mponda has been named as Coach Meke Mwase’s second-in-command for the 2020 Olympic Games qualifying match against Botswana. Be Forward Wanderers Coach Bob Mpinganjira has also joined the panel as an assistant Coach.

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Mponda is also an assistant to Flames Coach Ronny van Geneugden together with Civil Sporting Club Coach Franco Ndawa.

But the match for the under-23 side against Botswana will be played on November 12, the same day the senior team will face Comoros Islands in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers.

Fam Vice President, James Mwenda, said Mponda’s priority would be for the senior team in the case of a clash between under-23 and senior team fixtures.

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“Mponda will be with the senior team in Comoros, so he will miss the first leg against Botswana. But he will be available for the return leg. It is not only Mponda but some players who are within the age bracket but are regulars for the senior team. They will not play against Botswana due to the same,” Mwenda said.

Precious Sambani and Levison Maganizo are some of the players that are likely to miss the first leg against Botswana in the 2020 Olympic qualifiers.

Mponda said he felt honoured to be considered for the position.

“I am not in a tight spot. I am just an assistant Coach and the appointment is good for me as I am gaining valuable experience.”

Mwase is also the Head Coach for the under-20 team. The under-23 squad is also expected to include some of the players who have graduated from the under-20 squad which exited the African Youth Championship after losing 2-0 at home to South Africa.

The winner between Malawi and Botswana will face Zambia in the next round.

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