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Peter Banda delayed over Covid certificate

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George Kaudza Masina

Flames and Simba Sports Club attacker Peter Banda failed to join Flames squad on Monday evening after he was delayed over Covid travel certificate in Tanzania.

Banda was expected to fly out of Tanzania on Monday morning but his Covid certificate was not issued on time.

According to a well-placed source at Football Association of Malawi (Fam), the former Tiraspol Sheriff attacker flew out of Tanzania Tuesday and was expected to connect straight to Cameroon to join the rest of the members.

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“All the players based in South Africa left Johannesburg around 11pm and joined local players in Ethiopia on Tuesday morning,” said the source.

South Africa-based stars captain Limbikani Mzava, Gabadinho Mhango, Richard Mbulu, Gerald Phiri Junior, Khuda Muyaba, Mike Mkwate and Dennis Chembezi joined the squad in Ethiopia before flying out to Cameroon.

The source said Moldova-based defender Charles Petro and Georgia-based midfielder Francisco Madinga flew straight to Cameroon and were the first to arrive in Yaoundé ahead of the match on Friday.

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Flames Coach Meck Mwase has travelled with three goalkeepers, namely Richard Chipuwa, Ernest Kakhobwe and Brighton Munthali.

But Scotland-based defender Keiran Ngwenya has been ruled out of the match due to United Kingdom’s travel restrictions which forces players to spend 10 days in isolation if they travel to red-list countries.

Midfielder Micium Mhone has also been dropped due to injury whereas Nixon Mwase did not travel after he tested positive for Covid.

He has been replaced by Nixon Nyasulu.

Mwase was not readily available Tuesday as he was on transit to Cameroon.

Before departure, Mwase said he was targeting a draw.

Sports analyst George Kaudza-Masina said the Flames mentor was realistic.

“He has assembled the best squad but we should not expect much. Playing as underdogs can also work to our advantage and we can upset them,” Masina said.

Cameroon coach Antonio Conceicao has included Zambo Anguissa and Maxim Choupo- Moting ahead of the Flames match.

The Flames start 2022 World Cup qualifiers against Cameroon on Friday before hosting Mozambique on September 7 at Orlando Stadium, South Africa.

Malawi will meet Ivory Coast in October.

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