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Willy Kumilambe axes 8 from Afcon squad

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FINALISING PREPARATIONS—Malawi’s beach soccer team

Malawi National Beach Soccer Team Coach Willy Kumilambe has released eight players from camp.

The team is preparing for the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) Beach Soccer finals slated for October 20 to 28 in Vilankulo, Mozambique.

Kumilambe initially named a 26-member provisional squad which started camp training in Salima last week.

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The release of the eight means the team is remaining with 18 players ahead of next week’s naming of the final squad.

The released players are Massey Mussa, Oswald Chindamba, Alexander Msukunika, Witres Chimbiri, Geoffrey Mwase, Afiki Ackim, Mussa Haji and Selemani Umali.

Beach Soccer Association Vice Chairperson Panganeni Ndovi, who is also the squad’s team manager, said only 12 players will travel to Mozambique.

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“So far so good; we are making great process in training. The coach will name the final squad next week and it will have 12 players,’’ Ndovi said.

Malawi are in Group A of the continental showpiece alongside hosts Mozambique, Morocco and Nigeria.

In the opening match, Malawi will face Mozambique before meeting Morocco and Nigeria.

After the draw which was conducted last month, Kumilambe said his troops were ready to face any team.

“We are going there to compete. Let the teams underrate us at their own peril,’’ he said.

Group B comprises holders Senegal, Madagascar, Egypt and Uganda.

Senegal will be at the competition in high spirits after lifting this year’s Cosafa Cup following a 5-3 beating of Egypt in Durban last weekend.

Champions and runners-up of this year’s continental competition will automatically qualify for the 2023 Fifa Beach Soccer World Cup.

Malawi qualified for the Afcon finals on the away goals rule after an 8-8 stalemate on aggregate against Tanzania.

This followed Malawi’s 3-2 win at Sunbird Livingstonia in Salima District followed by a 6-5 loss in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

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