Nyasa Big Bullets want their players exempted from the Flames camp due to the crammed nature of their diary which includes next week’s CAF Champions League preliminary round second leg against FC Platinum away in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.
The People’s Team is the highest contributor of players to the national team which regrouped on Sunday in preparation for the 2022 World Cup preliminary qualifiers against Botswana’s Zebras.
They have ushered in 11 of the 33 players that were called into Flames camp representing a third of the squad.
Bullets administration director Albert Chigoga said apart from their trip to Dwangwa, Nkhotakota this week where they will face Dwangwa United in a TNM Super League match, they also have to be cautious about their next Confederation of African Football (CAF) assignment against FC Platinum.
“It is a tight situation for us and the only appropriate time for us to release the players would be after the return leg against Platinum next week.
“Otherwise, as it is, the coach needs to have a full-strength squad as the team has to leave for Dwangwa on Thursday.
“We also do not want to risk injuries and we have already informed FAM [Football Association of Malawi] about our position,” he said.
FAM licensing and compliance manager Casper Jangale yesterday said the issue was tackled during a meeting they had with Bullets management yesterday.
“We understood the situation in which they are and we have asked them to advise us on how we should proceed,” he said.
“Apart from that, we discussed several issues relating to the status of players before and after they are called for national duty, such as the need for team doctors and officials to liase and update each other on their [players] physical condition. So, it was a fruitful meeting.”
Flames team manager James Sangala expressed surprise at the new development, saying Bullets were informed about the camping, complete with the programme before the squad was released “and they agreed to release the players”.
“So, if there is that new development, then I need to make a follow up,” he said.
The 11 players that Bullets have contributed are goalkeepers Ernest Kakhobwe and Rabson Chiyenda; defenders Charles Petro, Precious Sambani and Gomezgani Chirwa; midfielders Mike Mkwate, Chimwemwe Idana, Peter Banda and Chimango Kayira; Strikers: Hassan Kajoke and Patrick Phiri. Ironically, in April this year, Bullets also held on to their 11 players that were called up for Flames training in preparation for Championship of African Nations (Chan) qualifiers against e-Swatini (formerly Swaziland).