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Flames challenged

SOURCE OF INSPIRATION—Gabadinho (left) and Gerald Phiri jnr

Meck Mwase

Malawi national football team, the Flames, is expected to showcase its renewed joy when dating Zambia national football team at Heroes National Stadium in Lusaka Wednesday.

Flames coach Meck Mwase said the team was now expected to perform better, having their allowances revised upwards.

“This is a timely boost to the team ahead of Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers. The players are willing to die on the pitch following the revised perks. We shall have no excuses for losing. Of course, in football anything can happen but we will work hard to perform much better. We appreciate Fam’s gesture,” he said.

The senior side’s captain, Christopher John Banda, said Fam had demonstrated its commitment towards helping the Flames improving their performance.

“We are all motivated and ready to do our part. We will strive to do better in all our games. Fam has done its part and now the pressure is on us. People want results and we will try to do better,” he said.

Fam has increased Flames game bonuses from K100,000 to K500,000 each for a win in the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) and World Cup qualifiers whereas half the amount for a draw.

For a win in regional competition such as Cosafa Cup, each player will be getting K300,000 and K150 000 for a draw. In friendly matches, Flames players will each be receiving K200,000 for a victory and K100,000 each for a draw.

Fam has also abolished training allowances and the players will each be getting appearance fee of K200,000 for major competitions and K150,000 for friendly matches for maximum of 30 players.

Meanwhile, South Africa-based striker, Gabadinho Mhango, joined Flames camp at the Mpira Village in Blantyre on Sunday before the team left for Zambia through Chileka Airport yesterday.

This means seven foreign-based players are now in camp ahead of the Flames’ friendly matches against Zambia tomorrow and Zimbabwe on Sunday at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre.

Fam Competitions and Media Director, Gomezgani Zakazaka, who is travelling with the squad, said all Flames local players tested negative for Covid-19 following tests that were conducted last week.

“We are still observing Covid-19 protocols to ensure that every stakeholder is safe,” he said.

Flames are preparing for back to back Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Burkina Faso slated for next month.

Malawi is third in Group B of the Afcon qualifiers with three points after defeating South Sudan 1-0 at Kamuzu Stadium but lost 2-0 away to Uganda in the second match. Uganda and Burkina Faso are joint leaders with four points from two games whereas S. Sudan anchor the group without a point.

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