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Flames to face Zambia

Train behind closed doors, media barred

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Gomezgani Zakazaka

Malawi national football team, the Flames, will play a friendly game against Zambia’s Chipolopolo Boys in Lusaka on October 7.

The match is in preparation for Flames’ back-to-back 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

Football Association of Malawi (Fam) General Secretary Alfred Gunda said the friendly match has been organised following the uncertainty surrounding this year’s Cosafa Cup as South African government is yet to give its consent.

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“We are not just idle we want our team to prepare well for the forthcoming assignments. The plan is to go to Zambia on October 7 as Cosafa’s position is shaky,” he said.

Flames Coach Meck Mwase said the friendly match was important to gauge the level of fitness for local based players before facing the Stallions.

“Playing against Zambia will help us to have a picture of our performance since regrouping,” he said.

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Meanwhile, the senior side is training behind closed doors as a precautionary measure against Covid-19. The media is also barred from covering Flames’ training.

Fam Competitions and Communications Director Gomezgani Zakazaka said they were following all safety guidelines against Covid-19.

“Only players and supporting staff who have been oriented and have tested negative to Covid-19 are eligible to access the camping area. We have a camping area which is a no go zone for anyone, we are talking about the hostels, kitchen and the stadium. So for now the camping is closed for you guys [media] but we will communicate every development regarding this camping,” he said.

In Afcon Flames are in group B alongside Uganda, Burkina Faso and South Sudan. Uganda and Burkina Faso are tied at the top with four points each.

Flames are third with three points from two matches having defeated South Sudan and lost to Uganda.

South Sudan are fourth with no point from the same matches.

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