Malawi ready for AFCON, says Marinica


Malawi National Football Team’s head of technical panel Marian Mario Marinica has expressed optimism that his charges are ready for this year’s Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.

Marinica made the remarks on Tuesday afternoon, at the end of a 10- day Pre-AFCON training camp in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

He said: ”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.” said Marinica.

On his part, Flames 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,” said Mzava.

The Flame’s first assignment in the tournament  will be against Guinea on Monday January 10.

The national football team will go into the game with full confidence having thrashed Comoros 2-1 in a friendly match played last Friday.

Flames will also play against Zimbabwe four before winding up the group phase with a match against Senegal on January 18, 2022.

The National football team is expected to leave Jeddah, Saudi Arabia this morning where they have been camping for Cameroun via Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Malawi is in group B alongside Guinea, Senegal and Zimbabwe.

Reported by Emmanuel Chilemba