‘We are sorry’

Flames players apologise for poor performance

Walter Nyamilandu

By Williams Gondwa & Peter Fote

Malawi National Football Team players have apologised to the nation for their poor run of form in the 2022 Fifa Qatar World Cup qualifiers.

The Flames wrapped up their Group D matches with 4-0 and 1-0 losses to Cameroon and Mozambique, respectively.


After conclusion of the qualifiers, Malawi anchor the four-team group with three points from six matches.

Flames captain Limbikani Mzava, who scored into his own net to grant Mozambique the narrow win in Benin on Tuesday, said it was unfortunate that they had not given out their best in the qualifiers.

“We are saying sorry to every Malawian. We have not lived up to their expectations and we are apologising. We could have done better for sure. The performance should have been better, especially where we are talking of preparing for the Afcon [Africa Cup of Nations] finals.


“We, as players, we feel bad about the result and we talked to each other about it. We remain hopeful that the losses will not affect our preparations for the Afcon finals. We will now be fully focused on our preparations,” Mzava said.

South Africa-based Flames striker Khuda Muyaba posted an apology on his Facebook page, saying Malawians did not deserve such heartbreaking results.

“We are sorry to all Malawians. We aimed to get the three points today. We were expecting a better game and we are disappointed. We lost to Mozambique and we are sorry.

“Naturally, we are very sorry right now but it doesn’t mean we will not be ready for the Afcon tournament in January in Cameroon. We will give it our all. Sorry Malawi and we need your support,” Muyaba said.

The Flames have now lost four consecutive matches, with eight defeats in the 10 matches that the team has played recently.

Football Association of Malawi President Walter Nyamilandu said the team learnt tough lessons from the qualifiers.

“The manner in which we lost some of the matches gave us painful experiences. The glimmer of hope that we started with fizzled out as the tournament progressed. We didn’t expect to be bottom of the table or lose four matches in a row. The boys are hurting and we are disappointed.

“We always knew it was going to be a tough road but we planned to come out stronger. Unfortunately, we missed an opportunity of defeating one of the giants. The loss against Mozambique has just made matters worse because we had high hopes of salvaging the situation,” Nyamilandu said.

He said the team would spare a moment to reflect on how to cope in Cameroun by building on positives and correcting its weaknesses.

“Some soul-searching is needed. We have to regroup with renewed energy and think about how we can step up to the plate. We needed to rise to the occasion by displaying extraordinary performances so that we could close the gap.

“Having said that, I am sure our participation in the qualifiers has not been in vain. The players have been toughened up. They have tasted the heat and will come back stronger,” Nyamilandu.

Cameroon qualified for the 10-team play-offs that will decide which five teams will represent Africa in Qatar next year after edging Ivory Coast 1-0 to finish top of the group.

The Flames are expected to arrive from Benin today.

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