Malawi Women’s National Football Team regroups tomorrow to start preparations for the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations against Zambia slated for early next month.
The Scorchers, who were drawn against neighbours Zambia, will start the qualifiers at home on June 7 before the second leg a week later.
Football Association of Malawi (Fam) General Secretary Alfred Gunda confirmed that they were racing against time to start preparations.
“We are finalising the arrangement so that the girls start preparations as soon as possible. Time is against us so by Sunday [tomorrow] they will start camp,” he said.
Coach McNerbet Kazuwa will likely include China-based duo Captain Tabitha Chawinga and her sister Temwa for the qualifiers.
Lusaka Dynamos new signings Patricia Nyirenda and Chimwemwe Madise, vice captain Madyina Ngulube and Ruth Nyirongo are likely to be part of the team.
Multi-talented Asimenye Simwaka is ruled out of the qualifiers as she is expected to participate in All Africa Games finals in Algeria on June 5.
However, Kazuwa has a daunting task after majority of the local stars have stayed for close to one year without playing active football due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Scorchers assistant Coach Andrew Chikhosi recently told journalists that he was optimistic of making it to the next round.
“We need to plan well for the games and also utilise home ground advantage,” Chikhosi said.
The winner between Zambia and Malawi will face the winner between Namibia and Tanzania in the second round of the qualifiers.
Malawi and Zambia also met during last year’s Cosafa Women’s championship in the group stage as the Scorchers won 1-0 courtesy of Temwa’s goal.
The 2022 finals will be held in Morocco after the cancellation of last year’s event after Malawi were drawn against eSwatini.
A record 44 teams have entered the competition and will be fighting for the remaining 11 slots.
Malawi Under 20 Women’s National Team will also face Zambia in the Fifa World Cup qualifiers slated to start in September this year.