The Flames will pass through Freetown, Sierra Leone to play a practice match on March 22 before proceeding to Conakry, Guinea for their 2017 African Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier.
The international match was initially cancelled as its dates clashed with the Afcon qualifiers, but Football Association of Malawi (FAM) general secretary Suzgo Nyirenda said yesterday they have reached an agreement.
He said the development means the Flames will fly to Sierra Leone on Sunday, March 20.
“We desperately needed an international practice match before the Flames meet Guinea in the Afcon qualifier. We are very happy that we have finally secured one against Sierra Leone after an agreement between the two national football associations,” Nyirenda said.
Flames assistant coach Nsanzurwimo Ramadan has described the news as a big relief.
When asked if having an international training match only three days before a competitive Afcon qualifier was a good idea, Ramadan said nothing is wrong because players can recover within 73 hours.
“The international practice match is a big relief because it will help us see how our local and foreign-based players will coordinate ahead of the Guinea qualifier,” Ramadan said.
“It is also perfectly timed because all our foreign-based players that were called into camp will be with us after their tight schedules with their clubs.”
South Africa-based players Gabadinho Mhango, Robert Ng’ambi, Robin Ngalande and Limbikani Mzava will not be released by their respective clubs for the Flames’ engagement until March 20.
Gaba is having a game on March 19 with his new club Golden Arrows while Ng’ambi, Ngalande and Mzava will be engaged as Platinum Stars and Mpumalanga Black Aces face off on March 20.
For the past three weeks, the Flames have been camping with only local-based players at FAM’s Mpira House in Chiwembe, Blantyre. During this period, they have been playing some practice matches against local clubs Mighty Be Forward Wanderers and Azam Tigers. They won both games.