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RVG slams pitch

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Malawi national football team Coach, Ronny van Geneugden, claims rains and biased officiation connived to undermine the Flames’ chances of defeating Uganda’s Cranes in Tuesday’s friendly played at Mandela National Stadium in Namboole, Kampala.

“Uganda are a very strong team; physically. They also have some technical players. We know that they are ranked a lot of places [78] in front of Malawi [123] but we were ready to start the game. Unfortunately, just before the game, there were heavy rains.

“The pitch was very wet [and] that means the guys who did not have the possibility of having all the boots had to play with multi-stud boots. In the warm up, we saw players having problems with stability because the ground was very soft. We tried to play a good passing game but it was difficult because of the situation of the field,” Van Geneugden said in a recorded pre-match comment circulated to Malawi media.

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Van Geneugden, whose charges are preparing for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying matches against Morocco, Cameroon and Comoros islands, said substitutes Frank Banda and Chiukepo Msowoya nearly scored for the Flames.

He said he was encouraged by the clean sheet and the performance of Rafik Namwera and debutants Precious Sambani and Patrick Phiri.

Speaking before the draw, Fam General Secretary, Alfred Gift Gunda, said they shifted the pre-season competition from this weekend to pave the way for Malawi under-20 national football team’s game against Swaziland at the same venue on Saturday.

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“You can appreciate that these are not ordinary teams, so, we had to do things that will be appreciated by spectators at the tournament,” Gunda said.

After the draw, Fam Marketing and Commercial Director, Limbani Matola, said the first match will involve Bullets and Kamuzu Barracks from 12:30pm, followed by a meeting between Nomads and Silver at 3:00 pm on April 7.

He said losers would battle for third position.

“We expect a good turn up on both days because these are giants. We are working hand-in-hand with the Malawi Blood Transfusion Service. We urge fans to donate blood during the event,” Gunda said.

Wanderers General Secretary, Mike Butao, welcomed the draw but urged Fam to be serious when coming up with a calendar of events. Bullets are the defending champions of the Charity Shield.

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