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Limbikani Mzava ready for Flames return

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Meck Mwase

Malawi National Football Team Coach Meck Mwase should be a happy man, now that defender Limbikani Mzava has expressed readiness to return to the team.

Mzava last played for Malawi in 2018 against Kenya in a friendly which the Flames lost 1-0 on their return from an Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier against Morocco.

Mwase said he was determined to give the Amazulu defender another chance when he draws the list of foreign country-based players for crucial Afcon qualifiers against South Sudan and Uganda later this month.

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“Of course, Mzava has not honoured any call-up under my tenure as head coach but I have the belief that he knows what featuring for a national team means to a player.

“Every player should feel good to play for their national team. Mzava is enjoying a rich vein of form at Amazulu and he can help us with his experience,” Mwase told Tuesday’s edition of The Daily Times.

Mzava said he has no issues with anyone in the Flames setup or at Football Association of Malawi.

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“I know that my absence from the team has brought about speculation from various quarters. But the truth remains that there have been reasons behind my failure to report for call-ups.

“For instance, everyone knows that I did not come for the Burkina Faso match because I had tested positive for coronavirus. Otherwise, I would have reported,” he said.

Mzava said he was eager to return and help the Flames qualify for next year’s Afcon finals in Cameroon.

“I am only waiting for the call-up. I have not played for Malawi for a long time and I really want to return. I am not carrying any injury right now and there is no excuse. If the coach decides to call me, I will definitely come,” he said.

Former Flames coach and the team’s legend Kinnah Phiri said Mzava should be given a chance to prove if he were still up to the task.

“Mzava is a bonafide Malawian and he deserves to be given a chance. He may not have done well by failing to report for camp previously but he is only a player who should be treated like a child.

“Authorities should find time to sit down with him and sort out any issues that might be there. That is what I used to do when I was coach. I remember travelling to South Africa to talk to some of our players like Peter Mponda, Robert Ng’ambi and Moses Chavula,” Phiri said.

He said talking to the players in person is a way of showing them love and concern.

The Flames will first lock horns with South Sudan away on March 24 before lining up against Uganda at home some five days later.

Malawi are third in Group B of the qualifiers with four points while Burkina Faso are leading with eight points.

Uganda are third with seven points while South Sudan anchor the table with three points. The four teams have played four matches each.

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