By Kei Emmanuel Duku
South Sudan AFCON group B opponents Malawi has lined up friendlies against Zimbabwe and neighboring Zambia ahead of Total AFCON Cameroon 2021 qualifiers.
The Flames face Zambia’s Chipolopolo in Lusaka on 7 October 2020, and then host The Warriors of Zimbabwe at Kamuzu Stadium four days later, according to the Football Association of Malawi (FAM).
Malawi will use the friendlies to fine-tune for AFCON qualifying matches against Burkina Faso in November. Malawi currently lies third in qualifications Group B that also comprises Uganda and South Sudan. The Flames beat South Sudan 1-0 and lost 2-0 to Uganda’s Cranes.
Zambia hosted Malawi in Lusaka last March, with the hosts winning 1-0 at Nkoloma Stadium, courtesy of Collins Sikombe’s strike.
Malawi’s last trip to Harare was in 2016 when the hosts run riot, winning 3-0 with Knowledge Musona, Cuthbert Malajila and Khama Billiat on target.
Malawi started camp training last week amid some setback after two player’s defender Hadji Wali and goalkeeper Rabson Chiyenda tested positive for coronavirus, the FA has confirmed. Wali has since resumed training after completing his quarantine while Chiyenda remains sidelined after testing positive again.
Malawi FA Chief Executive Officer Alfred Gunda said they would follow all Covid-19 precautionary measures for the games to be played.
News of tested positive players is a blow to FAM hopes of restarting the 2020 domestic football season which was stopped last March before the first COVID-19 case was registered in the country.
While the Bright Stars in Cameroon and they will play their first friendly on the 07/10/2020 against PWD Bamenda FC before taking on Cameron CHAN team three days later ahead of their qualifications fixtures against Uganda Cranes next month.
Meanwhile another South Sudanese neighbours Uganda Cranes team, majorly composed of the locally based players have on Thursday entered residential camp at the Cranes Paradise hotel in Kisaasi ahead of the Uganda Cranes training camp in Dubai scheduled for Monday
The team is expected to fly out on Monday 5th October for Dubai aboard Emirates Airlines at 5 PM