Malawi National Football Team got a timely boost Sunday ahead of Tuesday’s swim or sink encounter after all the players and technical officials tested negative for coronavirus following a Polymerase Clain Reaction test.
The results, which came late in the evening, were also an icing on the cake after five players also recovered from minor injuries.
Fam President Walter Nyamilandu confirmed the development, saying the Flames would have a full squad when facing Morocco Tuesday in a Round of 16 Africa Cup of Nations tie.
“We are all following Covid protocols. The safety of the squad is our priority and this is why we have guidelines to stay free from coronavirus. It is good that we will have a full squad with all the coaches present,” he said.
Earlier on, Flames interim coach Mario Marian Marinica breathed a sigh of relief after all five players recovered from knocks ahead of tomorrow’s decisive Round of 16 tie against Morocco.
The two sides clash in the Africa Cup of Nations last 16 tie at Ahidjo Stadium.
Goalkeeper Charles Thom, Gomezgani Chirwa, midfielder Yamikani Chester and striker Frank Gabadinho Mhango have recovered from minor injuries they sustained in the goalless draw against number one ranked team in Africa, Senegal. defenders Chembezi Dennis,
Marinica, who was panicking over fitness concerns of the five, was pleased with the medical report.
“The doctors have been doing a fantastic job and the players really worked hard off and in field of play. They demonstrated high intensity and we are hopeful of an injury-free squad,” he said
The development comes after goalkeeper Ernest Kakhobwe, who missed the Senegal match in Bafoussam, returned to training after recovering from an illness.
However, Flames captain Limbikani Mzava remains sidelined with a hamstring injury.
Nonetheless, Mzava called for a spirited display against the Atlas Lions.
“It is a make-or-break game for us but we are determined to progress. Every player knows the importance of this game,” he said.
Flames have defeated Morocco once in 10 meetings but have lost six games while three matches ended in draws.
Peter Fote is a Sports Journalist with huge experience in radio and Television reporting, production and presentation. He once worked with Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) and is currently working for Times Media Group.