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Flames regroup next week

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Meck Mwase

Malawi National Football Team Coach Meck Mwase is next week expected to call his local based players into camp to begin preparations for next month’s crucial Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers.

The Flames face South Sudan away at a venue yet to be confirmed before hosting Uganda at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre.

Football Association of Malawi (Fam) Competitions and Communications Director Gomezgani Zakazaka said he would give out more information once the Flames callup has been released.

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There are fears that the players would lack match fitness following the suspension of TNM Super League games about a month ago because of the rise in Covid-19 cases.

South Sudan, who have been playing their matches away from home after Juba National Stadium was declared unfit to host matches, have already regrouped and are camping in Morocco ahead of the match.

Should South Sudan choose Morocco as a venue for the Flames match, the Flames may end up missing the services of their South African legion as the North African nation has imposed a ban on travellers from the Rainbow Nation on health grounds amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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The Flames have regulars striker Gabadinho Mhango, Gerald Phiri Junior, Richard Mbulu and Dennis Chembezi plying their trade in South Africa.

Other Malawian players in that country are Limbikani Mzava, Chawanangwa Kaonga and Khuda Muyaba.

Sports analyst George Kaudza-Masina said the Flames needed to embark on early preparations.

“Our league was suspended and players have surely lost out on match fitness. This means our players need a bit of time to gain match fitness,” Kaudza-Masina said.

Malawi are third in Group B of the qualifiers with four points from four matches, four points behind leaders Burkina Faso.

Uganda are second with seven points. Only group leaders and runners-up will advance to the Afcon finals next year.

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