By Peter Kanjere
Football Writer, kick442.com-Cameroon
Malawi coach Meck Mwase has released a provisional 33-member squad for camp training, taking advantage of the government’s partial relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions on sports activities.
Mwase told the press in Blantyre on September 19 2020 that he limited his selection to members of the previous squad because the domestic league is yet to start this season in Malawi. The delayed season might start next month.
“We have been asking Zambia and Zimbabwe for a possibility of a friendly, but nothing is confirmed yet. As you know, football is suspended and that is why most of the guys I have called up are those who have been with us in previous matches,” Mwase said.
Home-based players, who have been inactive for nine months, dominate the squad, hoping to earn a place in the final party to face Burkina Faso in the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers in November 2020.
The Flames, who started the Afcon qualifiers by beating South Sudan 1-0 at home courtesy of Gabadinho Mhango’s scorcher, before losing 2-0 in Uganda, might either participate in Southern Africa’s Cosafa Cup next month or play a friendly during the Fifa window.
Mhango is headlining the squad comprising Europe-based youngsters Francisco Madinga (Dila Gori, Georgia), Charles Petro (Sheriff, Moldova) and Yamikani Chester from American second-tier side, Las Vegas Lights FC.
Conspicuously missing from the squad is Malawi’s top-flight league top scorer with 21 goals Khuda Muyaba, who is now on the books of the now relegated South Africa Premier Soccer League side, Polokwane City, whereas former captain Limbikani Mzava has been recalled after a self-imposed year-long absence.
“The locally-based players will go in camp on Monday at the Mpira Village in Blantyre. Fam will next week confirm whether the Flames will participate in the Cosafa Championship or play friendly matches in October,” a statement from Football Association of Malawi reads.
However, the training has suffered a setback after two players and two officials tested positive for coronavirus.
The players, whose identities FAM refused to disclose for privacy reasons, have since gone into a 10-day isolation and might rejoin the squad once they test negative.
Full combined squad:
Goalkeepers: Brighton Munthali (Silver Strikers), Rabson Chiyenda, Ernest Kakhobwe (Nyasa Big Bullets), William Thole (Be Forward Wanderers).
Defenders: Stanley Sanudi, Peter Cholopi (Wanderers), Gomezgani Chirwa, Nickson Nyasulu (Bullets), Precious Sambani (Bullets), Hadji Wali (Silver).
Midfielders: Chimango Kaira, Peter Banda, Chimwemwe Idana (all Bullets), Chikoti Chirwa (Kamuzu Barracks), Raffick Namwera, Isaac Kaliati (Wanderers), Duncan Nyoni (Silver), Micium Mhone (Blue Eagles).
Strikers: Foster Biton (Strikers), Vincent Nyangulu (Wanderers), Hassan Kajoke (Bullets)
Mzava (unattached), Gerald Phiri, Richard Mbulu (Baroka FC, SA) Mhango (Orlando Pirates, SA), Petro (Sheriff), Schumaker Kuwali, John Banda (UD Songo), Chawanangwa Kawonga (TS Sporting), Madinga (Gori, Georgia), Denis Chembezi (Polakwane, SA), Chester (Las Vegas Lights, America).
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