Flames arrive in South Africa for home tie
Football Association of Malawi (Fam) has said logistical preparations for the successful hosting of the World Cup qualifier away from home have been concluded.
For the first time in history, Fam is in an awkward situation as the Malawi National Football Team, the Flames, will host Mozambique tomorrow at Orlando Stadium in South Africa after the Confederation of African Football (Caf) banned Bingu National Stadium (BNS) from hosting international games.
Fam engaged Council for Southern Africa (Cosafa) and South Africa Football Association (Safa) to help in match organisation in a foreign country.
By being hosts, Fam is responsible for the welfare of the visiting team (Mozambique) and also the officiating panel.
In addition, apart from hiring the match venue, Fam will also be responsible for the security and all details at the match venue.
In an interview Sunday from South Africa, Fam Communications and Competitions Director Gomezgani Zakazaka said, despite being the first match, organised away from home, everything was in order.
“No challenges; so far so good. We have got good support from Cosafa and Safa. We were privileged to watch the Namibia against Congo match on Thursday. The match gave us an opportunity to be familiar with the setup,” he said.
Malawi arrived in South Africa from Cameroon Sunday ahead of the clash. The Flames were expected to have a loosening session Sunday in the afternoon.
Flames coach Meck Mwase said the players were in high spirits ahead of the clash Tuesday.
“We arrived in the morning and everything is good here,” Mwase said in a brief interview.
The Flames anchor Group D of the qualifiers with no point following a 2-0 loss to Cameroon on Friday night.
The Indomitable Lions top the group with three points whereas Ivory Coast and Mozambique are second and third with one point each, respectively.
Mozambique and Ivory Coast played out to a goal-less draw on Friday.
Sports analyst George Kaudza-Masina said organising a match away from home was a big challenge for Fam.
“This might prove to be a challenge for Chiwembe and the best way is to engage an agent; otherwise, we might end up being sanctioned by both Fifa and Caf for not meeting the required standards for taking care of a visiting team and match officials,” he added.
In another match slated for Tuesday, Ivory Coast will host Cameroon.
Fam is optimistic that it will host Ivory Coast at BNS next month should Caf approve the facility.
By hosting Mozambique in South Africa, Fam has spent about K9.5 million for hiring Orlando Stadium.