Malawi national football team coach, Ernest Mtawali, could not conceal his relief Sunday after Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations nodded to the Flames’ participation in 2015 Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup.
The Flames will travel to Ethiopia as guest participants to the 11-member competition scheduled from November 21 to December 6, 2015, hence Mtawali’s relief.
“This news has just made my day. I need time and more games to step up the rebuilding. We will go there to participate and compete. We can’t go there just to learn. You only learn in Under-15 and Under-17 teams,” Mtawali said yesterday.
Football Association of Malawi (Fam) general secretary, Suzgo Nyirenda, and his Cecafa counterpart, Nicholas Musonye , Sunday confirmed the Flames’ invitation as Eritrea’s replacement.
“Cecafa will provide us everything in Ethiopia, but we have to pay for our air tickets. This tournament will give the technical panel an opportunity to, at least, play three matches. We will meet the coaches to strategise on a call-up,” Nyirenda explained.
With Mozambique league on recess, Nyirenda hoped that, while domestic players will likely dominate the Flames, Mtawali might beef up with foreign-based footballers.
Musonye confirmed in a telephone interview from Kenya that he expected the three-time winners, the Flames, to add Southern Africa football flavour to the Cecafa cup.
“I have already sent an invitation to your FA and by Tuesday [tomorrow], we should send fixtures, rules and regulations,” Musonye said about the cup that, in the 1980s, turned the likes of Young Chimodzi and Kinna Phiri into legends.
Kenya are defending champions of the cup which was not held last year after Ethiopia pulled out. The tournament also involves Uganda, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Burundi, Somalia, Rwanda, Sudan and Tanzania.
A vibrant writer who gives a great insight on hot topics and issues