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Friday, January 21, 2022
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AFCON: Flames off to Cameroun to Raise the Bar

The Flames are this morning expected to fly out of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia for Cameroun via Addis Ababa, Ethiopia ahead of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations Finals which kicks off on Sunday.

The team was in Jeddah for a 10 day pre- Afcon training camp and managed to play one friendly match against Comoros.

However, defender Mark Fodya, midfielder Charles Petro and striker Richard have been left behind after testing positive to Covid-19.

They will have another test on Thursday and will fly out on Friday once they are cleared. 

“Since we arrived we have been having Covid-19 tests at least every 72 hours. And during the Monday tests the three came out positive. 

” They are currently in isolation. Team Liaison officer James Sangala will remain with three in Jeddah and once they are cleared they will join the rest of the team in Cameroon,” said FAM Communications Director Gomezgani Zakazaka. 

The 16 players plus 11 officials, who are travelling from Jeddah, will be joined by four players and four officials at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa. 

The four players are goalkeeper Charles Thom, defender Gomezgani Chirwa and midfielders Chimwemwe Idana and Peter Banda. 

The officials are FAM President Walter Nyamilandu Manda, Head of Delegation at AFCON Tiya Somba Banda, COVID-19 Officer Dr. Precious Kadzamira and kit Master Richard Justin. 

From Addis Ababa the team will fly to Douala where it will connect to their base Bafoussam.

Meanwhile, Flames Head of Technical Panel Marian Mario Marinica says his charges are ready for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroun and are going to the biannual continental football festival to compete.

“The training camp was quite good. There are a lot of positives that we gained here. The players worked hard. We had an opportunity to play a friendly match which showed us the progress we have made in changing our playing style.

“It could have been a little bit better if we didn’t have some hiccups. We had some players that tested positive to COVID-19 and did not travel while others arrived late. Others tested positive here and were restricted from taking part in training and the friendly match.

“We also had our friendly match against Mali cancelled and we ended up missing some hours of training. But all in we had a good camping, good facilities, good environment and good response from the boys, we are on the right track.

“As always time is never enough, we always want to have more time. I am happy with what I have seen and I can say the boys are ready for the tournament.”

Captain Limbikani Mzava said the boys are geared to die for the country in Cameroun.

“We worked hard during the qualifiers for this moment and it is time to raise our hands and die for mother Malawi.

“It was a good camp. We have a new coach who has brought a new playing style. We have worked hard to master the new approach and managed to execute it perfectly during the friendly match against Comoros.

“It has been our dream to go to the AFCON. I was part of the Pre- tournament camp for 2010 but did not make the final squad. I have a chance now and as a leader we will fight to make it count,” said Mzava.

Head of Delegation Chimango Munthali thanked the Saudi Arabia Football Federation for hosting the Flames.

The Flames beat Comoros 2-1 last Friday with goals from Gabadinho Mhango and Khuda Muyaba.

Malawi are in group B alongside Guinea, Senegal and Zimbabwe. They will play the first match against Guinea on Monday January 10 before facing Zimbabwe four days later. Flames will wind up the group phase with a match against Senegal on January 18, 2022.

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