The Confederation of East and Central Africa Football Associations (Cecafa) on Tuesday nullified an earlier draw that excluded Malawi from this year’s 2015 Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup in Ethiopia.
The draw, held on Monday afternoon in Addis Ababa, pooled 12 teams into three groups with Group A having Ethiopia, guests Zambia, Tanzania and Somalia.
Group B had Kenya, Uganda, Burundi and Djibouti while Group C had Sudan, Rwanda, South Sudan and Zanzibar.
This was despite Cecafa assuring Football Association of Malawi (FAM) that they had been invited as guests at the tournament to be held from November 20 to December 6.
“Your request has been considered positively. We shall give your delegation full board accommodation, a bus and a small car, training ground. You will only need to pay participation fee of $500 and also start the process of visa to Addis Ababa by submitting your team list and their pictures to Ethiopia Football Federation secretariat by Monday,” an e-mail from Cecafa general secretary Nicholas Musonye to FAM general secretary Suzgo Nyirenda reads in part.
But when asked why Malawi was left out of the Monday draw, Musonye yesterday said: “That draw you are seeing is null and void. We have invited Malawi to 2015 Cecafa Challenge Cup in Ethiopia. The official draw will be released by Cecafa tomorrow [today].”
Musonye could not be drawn to explain the circumstances behind the first draw that sidelined Malawi.
Meanwhile, FAM GS Nyirenda said the first draw did not affect the Flames’ preparations.
“It didn’t have any impact because we were waiting for the official communication from Cecafa.
“We submitted all the necessary documentation and we are processing visas for the trip.
“They told us we were invited as guests and we were just waiting for the rules and regulations and the draw which will be available today [Wednesday],” Nyirenda said.
The Flames started training on Monday with coach Ernest Mtawali including some new faces in his squad.
The coach has called Civo United midfielder-cum-striker Nelson Kangunje, who recently guided his team to Standard Bank Knockout Cup victory.
The squad also has foreign-based players; goalkeeper Simplex Nthala, midfielders Chimango Kayira, Gerald Phiri Jnr and striker Chawanangwa Kawonga. n