By Mabvuto Kambuwe:
Malawi under-17 national football team got off to a bad start at the on-going Federation of East African Secondary Schools Sports Associations (Feassa) competition in Arusha, Tanzania, after suffering an embarrassing 8-0 loss to Uganda in a Group C match on Sunday.
This was the worst defeat for the junior Flames who are using the competition to prepare for the 2019 Cosafa Cup slated for September 25 to October 4 in Blantyre.
Malawi will face Kenya today before playing hosts Tanzania in the last game of the group stages.
Leader of delegation Blackson Malamula, who is also Malawi Schools Sports Association General Secretary, blamed the loss on fatigue.
“The players were tired after covering a long distance from Malawi to Tanzania.
They did not have enough time to train together in Malawi, so the coaches are trying new combinations and systems. We will do well against Kenya and Tanzania,” Malamula said.
The players were identified following a two-day inter-region tournament at Chiwembe Technical Centre in Blantyre.
Blue Eagles Coach, DeKlerk Msakakuona, is in charge of the junior Flames.
The games have brought together teams from Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Zanzibar, Malawi and hosts Tanzania.
Young athletes are competing in sporting codes such as football, volleyball, basketball and netball.
Malawi will host the Under-17 Cosafa Youth Championship in Blantyre for the second time after the 2001 edition.
Malawi won gold in the regional tournament after beating South Africa 4-1.
For the past two years, Mauritius has been hosting the competition, which saw Malawi winning bronze in 2017 before exiting in the group stages last year.