Sigh of relief for Flames: CAF postpones World Cup qualifiers

Malawi Flames

The dilemma for the Malawi national football team to host the World Cup qualifiers outside the country seems over as CAF has postponed the qualifiers for the games.

Malawi was supposed to host Cameroon and Mozambique in the FIFA World Cup qualifiers in June, but CAF had just announced that their proposed Kamuzu Stadium was not fit for the competition.

The decision placed Football Association of Malawi (FAM) in a fix as they were pondering shifting the match venue to Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe or in the worst case to Zambia.

While the status of Bingu Stadium is yet to be improved especially the pitch, CAF’s postponement of the game has come at the right time.

In a statement released on Thursday, CAF Emergency Committee consulted FIFA taking into consideration the current challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the need to ensure the optimal playing conditions for all participating teams.

“The qualifiers will now take place in the existing windows of September, October and November 2021, and March 2022.

“CAF is reassessing its protocols and processes to enhance the implementation of COVID-related protocols, including specifically focusing on pre-match testing which had been the source of some challenges in previous windows. Full details on the updated match schedule will be provided in due course,” reads the statement.

This gives Malawi enough time to make necessary innovations on Kamuzu Stadium, as well as the second option, Bingu Stadium.

Analysts argued that playing outside the country would work as a disadvantage to Flames as they always struggle playing away.