Mozambican FA refuses to clear John Banda, Schumacher Kuwali for early Flames camp
The Mozambican Football Federation has turned down Football Association of Malawi (Fam)’s request to release Flames duo captain John Banda and striker Schumacher Kuwali to join camp early ahead of crucial matches against South Sudan and Uganda.
Banda and Kuwali have not returned to Mozambique since last month as the Mocambola League is also suspended due to Covid.
However, last week Fam wrote their Mozambican counterparts requesting for the early release of the players. Fam General Secretary Alfred Gunda Sunday said their counterparts communicated that the two players could not be released outside the Fifa calendar.
“We got a response from the Mozambique FA that they were surprised to hear that the two players are in Malawi. According to them, they expected the two players to be in Mozambique for tests and other protocol guidelines ahead of league resumption,” Gunda said.
The Mocambola League was suspended last month following sharp rise in Covid cases. Efforts to talk to Mozambique FA representatives proved futile Sunday.
Fam made a request to the Mozambique FA after Flames coach Meck Mwase wanted to have the two players in camp.
In a separate interview Sunday, Mwase also confirmed that he requested for the services of the two players.
“Actually, we wanted to take advantage of the fact that the two players are already in the country. We are still waiting for formal communication from Fam on the release of the players,” Mwase said.
Fifa rules and regulations state that players should be released at least five days before the international calendar.
Mwase named a provisional squad of 29 Malawi-based players in preparation for the two crucial assignments against S. Sudan and Uganda. The Flames mentor is expected to release a squad of foreign country-based players later this month for the matches.
The Flames captain Sunday said he wanted to join the local squad to keep fit ahead of the matches. Malawi is fourth in Group B of the Afcon qualifiers with four points from four matches, four points behind leaders Burkina Faso. Uganda is second with seven points whereas S. Sudan have three points.