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Flames in ‘fair’ group

Drawn against Senegal, Zimbabwe, Guinea

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Meck Mwase

Malawi National Football Team, the Flames, has been handed a fair draw in the 2021 Total Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals to be staged in Cameroon next year.

The draw, which was conducted at Yaoundé Conference Centre in Cameroon last night, saw the Flames being placed in Group B alongside number one ranked team in Africa Senegal, Guinea and Zimbabwe.

Caf Competitions Director Samson Adamu conducted the draw alongside some of the continent’s legends, including Cameroonian Samuel Etoo, Ivorian Didier Drogba, Algerian Rabah Madjer, Ghanaian Asamoah Gyan and Cameroonian Gaelle Enganamouit.

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Flames coach Meck Mwase also attended the ceremony in Cameroon.

“Every team is looking forward to winning the competition and we have to prepare thoroughly for the fixtures. I have all the confidence that we can do well,” Mwase said.

Football Association of Malawi President Walter Nyamilandu was also pleased with the draw.

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“It’s a fair group. We have a chance to flex our muscles. It could have been worse,” he said.

The Flames will be making a third appearance at the continental showpiece finals after 1984 in Ivory Coast and 2010 in Angola.

Former Flames midfielder Joseph Kamwendo said the Flames should just prepare well for the tournament.

“This is a fair draw for us because we can get points from Zimbabwe, Guinea and Senegal. We still have time to prepare for the tournament,” Kamwendo, who was part of the Flames squad in Angola in 2010, said.

Malawi finished second in Group B of the Afcon qualifiers with 10 points, two points behind Burkina Faso, who qualified as group winners.

In 2010 in Angola, the Flames exited the tournament from the group stages with a single 3-0 victory over reigning champions Algeria before back-to-back defeats to Angola (2-0) and 3-1 to Mali.

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