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Malawi celebrates

Lazarus Chakwera to host Flames

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MENACE—Banda

Blaring car horns, red, green and black flags were the most outstanding feature in the country Monday.

History has been written again as Malawi defied all odds to book a ticket to next year’s Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals to be staged in Cameroon.

People from all walks of life joined the celebrations in all the major cities of the country.

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It was a moment befitting the occasion as this is the third time for Malawi to qualify for the continental showpiece.

Interestingly, only local coaches have guided Malawi to Afcon finals in the history of Malawi football.

First, it was late Henry Moyo who led the Flames to Afcon finals in 1984 in Ivory Coast before Kinnah Phiri achieved the same feat in 2010 in Angola. Now Mwase has followed suit.

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Malawi, Zimbabwe and Comoros Islands are the only teams who have qualified from Cosafa.

Meanwhile, Youth and Sports Minister Ulemu Msungama has said President Lazarus Chakwera will host a State banquet soon to thank the players for making it to Afcon finals.

“The president is extremely excited that the Flames have done us proud. History has been made and it was not easy considering that football was not played in Malawi due to Covid,” Msungama, who watched the match in Blantyre, said.

The Flames alongside Group B leaders Burkina Faso have qualified for Afcon finals.

Local football analyst Kevin Moyo said the Flames pulled a shocker.

“It was unexpected since Burkina Faso and Uganda looked more likely favourites to qualify and were ahead of us on Fifa rankings and Afcon finals appearances,” he said.

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