Flames dealt another blow

Malawi Flames
  • Captain Mzava, Gerald Phiri jnr not available

Malawi national football team coach, Meck Mwase's plans to have a full house at the international friendly match against Tanzania this Sunday has been dealt a heavy blow following the absence of three key players.

Barely a day after the coach announced that Mozambique-based midfielder, John Banda would not be available due to club assignments this weekend, Captain Limbikani Mzava and Gerald Phiri junior have also been ruled out.

Mzava was expected in the country on Wednesday, but did not travel as Mwase has excused him after suffering a knock on Saturday during his team’s last game of the season.

As for Phiri junior, he has been released from camp after being declared unfit due to a harm string injury he had while training at his club Baroka FC.

“Phiri got injured last week and was ruled out for four weeks by his club. But he still reported for camp and was assessed by our doctors who confirmed his injury. Mzava also had a knock and we decided to let him rest and recover in South Africa than coming here for assessment. We wish the two quick recovery.

“For John we decided to let him remain in Mozambique and help his club. We have a very good relationship with his club who have on a number of occasions allowed Banda and Schumacher Kuwali to join Flames camp outside the FIFA calendar.

“It is a blow not to have the three players who are leaders in the team. But this being a friendly match it will give an opportunity for others to show us if they can rise to the occasion,” Mwase said.

Mwase only has Gabadinho Mhango, Tawonga Chimodzi, Richard Mbulu, Kieran Ngwenya, Charles Petro, Dennis Chembezi, Peter Banda and Khunda Muyaba on his list of foreign-based players.

Mbulu, Mhango and Chimodzi were the last players to join Flames Camp at Mpira Village in Blantyre on Wednesday.

Mwase is expected to release the final travelling squad on Thursday afternoon, as the team departs for Dar es Salaam on Friday morning.