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John CJ Banda ruled out as Flames leave Friday

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Gomezgani Zakazaka

The Malawi National Football Team leaves for Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Friday for a friendly against Taifa Stars on Sunday without vice-captain John CJ Banda.

The Flames date Tanzania as part of preparations for 2022 World Cup qualifiers and 2021 Africa Cup of Nations finals.

Football Association of Malawi Competitions and Communications Director Gomezgani Zakazaka said they had a request from UD Songo— the Mozambiquan team for Banda to be excused as they have a crucial league game this weekend.

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“We accepted Songo’s request because of the cordial relationship that exists between us and Songo. Mozambique national team used last week’s Fifa dates for a friendly; so, they have league games this weekend.

“So Songo asked us to allow CJ to miss the Tanzania friendly. We have been in a good relationship with Songo for a long time. During the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, CJ was joining us way before the Fifa dates. I can therefore confirm that CJ will not be with the Flames in Tanzania,” Zakazaka said.

He said the last group of Malawi’s foreign country-based players was expected to arrive Wednesday.

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He said coach Meck Mwase is expected to announce the travelling squad today.

The players who were expected to arrive Wednesday are Gabadinho Mhango, Limbikani Mzava, Charles Petro, Peter Banda and Tawonga Chimodzi.

The Flames are in Group D of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers together with Mozambique, Cameroon and Ivory Coast.

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