I’m not convinced that the omission of Papa (Gerald Phiri Junior) is a wise decision. He had played all the six Afcon qualifiers starting five and coming off the bench once making him a core and indispensable part of the squad
He scored twice against Burkina and South Sudan. Infact he’s the only Flames midfielder to score in the last 12 competitive fixtures namely Afcon and World Cup qualifiers.
He’s our dead ball specialist and experienced enough to be relied upon when the chips are down. He’s a potential source of goals and a match winner.
Many Flames players haven’t been particularly outstanding either. Those error prone defenders who leaked goals have nevertheless made the cut. So tisaname kuti Papa was the worst player ever deserving the axe. No ways!
His omission is totally shocking and without basis when you consider his contribution to take the team to the championship. I’m not sure MMM had looked at the statistics in leaving out Papa
Some selected lads aren’t yet ready for a big outing at all. Uncapped, untried and untested we can’t rely on them to produce miracles at Afcon.
During Flames maiden Afcon appearance in 1984, a Mzungu came at the 11th hour and dropped Frank Sinalo and Lule kutenga Moses Majiga zangati zomwezi and it backfired.
Gaffer sees a player for a couple or few games, gets seduced by a player and sacrifices established players.
And there are other candidates in midfield who shouldn’t be selected ahead of Papa and who were always down the pecking order.
It’s a terrible error to exclude Papa when the totality of technical facts is considered. If possible within the CAF rules, they must review the decision and include Papa in the squad of 23.