Malawi Women’s National Football Team has been drawn in a tricky group of the 2021 Cosafa Women’s Championship scheduled for September 15 to 26 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
The Scorchers have been drawn in Group A alongside holders and hosts South Africa, Angola and Mozambique. The fixture against South Africa will be a repeat of last year’s semifinal in which Malawi suffered a 6-2 defeat.
It is the first time for Malawi to be in the same group with Angola and Mozambique in over five years at the regional competition.
The Scorchers are without a coach as Football Association of Malawi (Fam) is yet to complete the recruitment process after MacNebert Kazuwa and his assistant Andrew Chikhosi were released at the end of their contracts.
Fam Competitions and Communications Director, Gomezgani Zakazaka said the recruitment process was continuing.
“We welcome the draw as we continue the process of recruiting a coach for the team. We always have plans for such situations and everything is in place,” Zakazaka said.
The other setback for Malawi will be the likely absence of the China-based duo of Tabitha and Temwa Chawinga who are doubtful for the tournament due to Covid travel restrictions.
Group B comprises last year’s runners-up Botswana, Zimbabwe and guest nations Tanzania and South Sudan whereas Group C has Zambia, Namibia, eSwatini and another guest team Uganda.
Only group winners and best runners-up will advance to the semifinals.
Former Nyasa Big Bullets player Shadreck Chikhosi, who is now a women’s football coach, expressed concern that the new coach will not have ample time to select good players for the tournament.
Malawi have never won the Cosafa Cup since its inception and their best performance was reaching the semifinals in 2011 and 2020.