Tight call

Flames friendly postponement to affect final list

Gomezgani Zakazaka

Malawi National Football Team suffered a setback in preparing for next month’s Africa Cup of Nations finals after postponement of today’s friendly against Mali in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

The West African team only arrived in Saudi Arabia Wednesday and cannot complete Covid protocols in time for the match.

The development means Flames technical panel head Marian Mario Marinica might have selection headaches as he wanted to use the match to assess players further before submitting his final squad to Confederation of African Football today.


All teams have until today to submit their final lists of 23 players.

Marinica admitted the postponement was a setback.

“We have several challenges at the moment. We have a deadline [today] to present the final list. So it doesn’t give me a very good chance to identify some of the fringe players,” the Romanian said.


Meanwhile, forward Schumacher Kuwali has been ruled out due to a thigh injury.

Marinica said Kuwali was featuring highly in his plans.

“I was counting on him. Schumacher is a versatile player and has been with us for a long time. He embraced my philosophy so well,” Marinica said.

South Africa-based striker Gabadinho Mhango joined the squad on Tuesday whereas defenders Charles Petro and Dan Chimbalanga were expected to arrive Wednesday.

Football Association of Malawi Communications and Competitions Director Gomezgani Zakazaka said goalkeeper Charles Thom failed to travel yesterday due to Visa hitches.

However, the Flames will not worry much about him as his colleagues Ernest Kakhobwe, Brighton Munthali and William Thole are already in Saudi Arabia.

The Flames are also expected to face Comoros Islands on January 4 in another friendly before flying to Cameroon the following day.

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