…final squad to be announced next Thursday
The Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has announced that the Flames will depart for Tanzania on 4 October for their crucial 2018 FIFA World Cup preliminary round qualifier against the Taifa Stars on 7 October.
Speaking during a pressor at Chiwembe Technical Centre on Thursday morning, the Fa’ general secretary Suzgo Nyirenda told the reporters that a 26 man delegation will arrive in Dar es Salaam in the morning.
“The team will travel on time ahead of the clash. 20 players will be selected, five technical team members and a leader of delegation will be in Tanzania on 4 October,” he said.
He also explained the reason why the planned friendly match against the Cranes of Uganda will not take place.
“The association contacted Kenya and Uganda for a possible friendly match and we secured a friendly against the Ugandans but it won’t take place because our foreign players will not be part of the team on the said date.”
“We asked South African Football Association (SAFA) to release the players early but we were told that Telkom Knockout Cup will take place the same week so we thought it wise to cancel the match because it will only feature local players which is not what we wanted,” he continued.
He then revealed that head coach Ernest Mtawali will name his final travelling squad on 1 October next week. He also hailed Malawi government for releasing the team’s funding early.
“For the first time, our government has released the funding for the team in good time. They have given us MK21 million which will be used to book air tickets for the travelling delegation. We will try our level best to do well in order to make it to the group stages of the qualification round,” said Nyirenda.
He also revealed that his association has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOA) with their Tanzanian counterparts to take care of the team in Dar es Salaam and they will do the same when the Taifa Stars will be in the country for the return leg.
Malawi will face Tanzania on 4 October before a return leg on 11 October at Kamuzu Stadium.
The winner will play Algeria in the second preliminary round before advancing into the group stages.