The 34-player women national football team which is preparing for the Cosafa Women’s Championship has only five players that were initially selected by the technical panel, The Nation has learnt.
Only Ruth Mkhola [Skippers FC], Zainab Kapanda [Blantyre Zero], Fanny Magombo [Ntopwa Super Queens], Vitumbiko Mkandawire [ Cy Sisters]and Ruth Mhango [DD Sunshine] made the final list from the 30 players which coach Maggie Chombo-Sadik submitted to FAM.
Chombo-Sadiki confirmed the changes in her original squad.
“All the same, this is just a provisional squad and we still have time to select a final squad.”
Technical director John Kaputa also defended the changes, saying they are normal.
When asked why FAM was interfering in players selection, FAM general secretary Alfred Gunda yesterday said he needed time before responding.
He later asked for a questionnaire, but had not responded by the time we went to press.
Meanwhile the draw for the 2018 edition of the competition will be held on August 29 in South Africa, according to Cosafa deputy chief executive officer responsible for competitions Suzgo Nyirenda.
He also confirmed that this year, they expect two guest teams at the tournament.
“Cameroon has already confirmed that they will come as guests. We are also waiting for confirmation from Tanzania or Burundi.
The Cosafa women’s Championship has helped Malawi players gain international exposure.
Malawi foreign-based players China-based Tabitha Chawinga, Sweden-based Temwa Chawinga and Sabina Thom, are all products of Cosafa Women’s Championship.
At the 2017 edition of the competition held in Zimbabwe, Malawi failed to reach the semi-final one draw, one loss and one win.
Malawi lost 6-3 to Zambia in the opening game but recovered in the second game, beating Madagascar 6-3.
The team then drew 3-3 against the hosts Zimbabwe in the last game to bow out in group stages.
South Africa are defending champions after they defeated Zambia 2-1 in the final.