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Rough Diamonds for women’s football

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By Mabvuto Kambuwe:

National Women’s Football Association (NWFA) has proposed March 8 2019 as the tentative date for the inaugural Rough Diamonds Challenge in Lilongwe.

The tournament would involve select teams from the Northern, Southern and Central regions at a venue to be announced.

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NWFA Chairperson, Severia Chalira, Wednesday said the proposal is subject to Football Association of Malawi’s (Fam) approval.

Chalira said the tournament is aimed at identifying talent for the women’s national team.

“We have proposed the dates but we are waiting for Fam’s approval. We believe that this is also the right way to identify players for the national team. There are some good players in the villages but they are not given a chance; so, they will be exposed through the tournament,” she said.

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Chalira said, after the event, the team would regroup in preparation for a match against Mozambique in April 2019.

Fam recently hosted Rough Diamonds Challenge for men’s football involving three regional select teams and First Capital Bank Under 20 select.

Southern Region Select were crowned champions after finishing top.

Fam General Secretary, Alfred Gunda, said it was pre-mature for him to comment on the matter before the Executive Committee’s nod.

Former Silver Strikers coach, Stanley Chirwa, said the Rough Diamonds, which Fam organised recently, was a good idea.

“We watched good players and I am sure some clubs would poach players from the select teams. It will also be a great idea to organise a tournament for women’s football,” Chirwa said.

Malawi women’s team face Mozambique in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games qualifiers between April 1 and 9.

Fam is expected to unveil the coach after the expiry of Maggie Chombo-Sadik and her backroom staff’s contracts.

The She-Flames performed poorly at the Cosafa Championship held in South Africa last year, having lost 6-0 to South Africa and 2-0 to Botswana. They beat Madagascar 2-0.

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