Malawi: Flames Off To Saudi Arabia

The Flames will this afternoon depart for Saudi Arabia where they will camp for two weeks in preparation for the back-to-back 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers against the Pharaohs of Egypt.

Football Association of Malawi (FAM) competitions and communications director Gomezgani Zakazaka said 26 players will make the trip to the Middle East country at the furthermost part of Southwestern Asia.

The Flames captured training during their previous camping in Saudi Arabia early last year
The squad has 22 TNM Super League players and three foreign-based players namely Francisco Madinga (Galaxy FC, Botswana), John ‘CJ’ Banda (UD Songo, Mozambique) and Kieran Ngwenya (Aberdeen, Scotland).

Zakazaka said: “Madinga and John Banda will join the team on Monday. Scotland-based defender Kieran Ngwenya will fly directly to Saudi Arabia.

“As for the locals, it’s more of the same squad with only Silver Strikers’ Mark Fodya replacing injured FCB Nyasa Bullets midfielder Patrick Mwawungulu.”

Silver players, namely Charles Thom, Fodya, Chimwemwe Idana, Stain Davie and Nickson Mwase were the last to join the Flames after resolving çlub versus country issues with FAM.

The Central Bankers threatened to cling to their players unless FAM delayed the TNM Super League kick-off to enable their coach to have more time with the players after national team duty.

Silver acting chief executive officer Faith Mzungu-Vilakati confirmed that their players were now with the Flames.

She said: “The players joined the Flames squad on Wednesday [yesterday] morning.”

Flames coach Mario Marinica thanked the clubs for releasing the players for the trip.

While in Saudi Arabia, the Flames are expected to play friendly matches against clubs before facing Egypt back-to-back in Cairo and Lilongwe between March 20 and 28 March,

The full squad is as follows: Goalkeepers: Thom, Brighton Munthali, Clever Nkungula; Defenders: Lawrence Chaziya, Miracle Gabeya, Stanely Sanudi, Paul Ndhlovu, Blessings Mpokera, Gomezgani Chirwa, Alick Lungu, Ngwenya, Mwase, Kelvin Kadzinje; Midfielders: Frank Willard, Chawanangwa Gumbo, Fodya, Petro, Idana, Gilbert Chirwa, Micium Mhone, CJ Banda, Madinga; Strikers: Chiukepo Msowoya, Christopher Kumwembe, Gaddie Chirwa and Davie.