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Robert Ng’ambi, Gerald Phiri Junior doubtful

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Malawi national football team midfielders, Robert Ng’ambi and Gerald Phiri Junior, are doubtful for the March 27 away friendly in Uganda.

Reports suggest that South Africa’s bottom-placed Premier Soccer League side, Platinum Stars, are reluctant to release the duo in view of the battle against relegation.

The Flames Team Manager, James Sangala, said he only has confirmation on the availability of Zambia’s Lusaka Dynamos winger Dalitso Sailesi, John Banda of Ferroviaro de Nampula in Mozambique, Robin Ngalande (Baroka FC, South Africa), who were expected to join camp Monday.

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Portugal-based Richard Mbulu, Charles Swini, Frank Banda (Mozambique) and South Africa-based Limbikani Mzava are expected to arrive on Thursday whereas another Mozambique-based player Chawanangwa Kawonga will link up with the Flames in Uganda.

“I would only comment about the eight foreign-based players because we have a problem with Platinum Stars to do with Phiri and Ng’ambi who are doubtful. The issue is in the hands of Football Association of Malawi General Secretary, Mr. Alfred Gunda. So, once they agree, we would be in a better position to tell the public on what would be the next move,” Sangala said.

It is reported that Stars, who have 17 points from 24 games, would like to concentrate on their remaining fixtures; hence clinging to Phiri and Ng’ambi.

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In a telephone interview, Phiri confirmed that they requested to be exempted from the friendly against Uganda.

“We talked to the Team Manager and pleaded that we should be excused from this game so that we should concentrate on the relegation fight. The team is in an awkward position. The Team Manager said he would report to the coach [Ronny van Geneugden,” said the former Be Forward Wanderers player.

However, the friendly in Uganda falls on Fifa-sanctioned date and it is unlikely that Stars would be in action. Fam can report Stars to Fifa for refusing to release the two players.

Gunda said they were still discussing the issue.

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