China-based Malawi national women’sfootball team stars—Tabitha and Temwa Chawinga—have confirmed their availability for next month’s Cosafa Senior Women’s Championship.
The regional women’s showpiece will held in Port Elizabeth, South Africa from November 3 to 15.
The Scorchers forwards were not certain about their availability because of two Chinese women’s football cup tournaments which have since been cancelled.
The duo missed the last two editions of the Cosafa tournament due to club commitments.
Said Tabitha in an interview yesterday: “We have been informed that there will be no cup tournaments this year which means we are now off-season.
“The development also means that this time around, we will be available for the Cosafa tournament.”
The Scorchers, who underwent Covid-19 tests last week, are expected to go into camp this weekend under coach McNebert Kazuwa, However, Tabitha, who is the team’s captain, said she will need some time to rest before she can join the national team.
“It has been a tough and gruelling season. It has been hectic playing twice a week because the fixture was tight, having kicked off late due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“So, for now, all I need is a good rest. If I am in the coach’s plans, I will ask if I can join the team at a later stage,” she said.
On her part, Temwa also said she is available should her services be needed.
“I cannot impose myself on the coaches, but I will definitely join the team should I be called,” she said.
Temwa inspired Wuhan to win the Chinese Women’s Super League title in her debut season in which she finished as second top scorer with nine goals—nine behind the eventual winner Zambian Barbra Banda.
Meanwhile, Cosafa will hold draws for both Senior Women’s Championship and the Under-17 tournament next Tuesday.
Cosafa deputy chief executive officer Suzgo Nyirenda said all is set for the two tournaments after the South Africa government gave a green light to host the competitions.
He said: “We are set. The draw for the two competitions will be held on October 20. Six teams will participate in the Under-17 tournament while the senior tournament has 10 teams.”
Football Association of Malawi recently announced that Malawi will participate in the senior tournament only.
The championship will feature 10 teams, drawn into two groups of five to battle it out for a place in the semi-finals.
Last year, the Scorchers failed to reach the semi-finals despite beating Madagascar 2-1 before going down to hosts and eventual champions Banyana Banyana 1-3 and recovering to thump Comoros by 13-0.
The Cosafa Championship will be Kazuwa’s first assignment following his appointment in March.