Football Association of Malawi (FAM) director of media and competitions Gomegzani Zakazaka says they are hopeful that Tanzanian club Simba SC will release Peter Banda for Flames’ Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) assignments in Cameroon.
The former Nyasa Big Bullets forward was supposed to travel to Saudi Arabia on Sunday to join a 10-day camp ahead of the Afcon finals in Cameroon next month.
However, he remained in Tanzania due to club commitments as his club host Azam FC in a Tanzania Premier League match on January 1.
In an interview on Monday, Zakazaka said FAM has put up an extra gear for Simba to release the playe and join the Flames camp in Saudi Arabia.
He said: “We have engaged an extra gear to have the player released by his club so that he should join the national team in Saudi Arabia in time despite that the club is allowed to keep the player up to January 3 after CAF softened up on 14 days prior to Afcon players arrival. With the good communication we had with the club, we are hopeful that he will be with us shortly.”
Sudan-based midfielder Gerald Phiri Jnr joined the Flames on Sunday in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
However, South Africa-based striker Gabadinho Mhango and Banda, who were expected to arrive on Sunday, did not travel.
Mhango did not fly out of South Africa as his flight was cancelled and the next available flight is this afternoon.
Meanwhile, the Flames had their first training session on Sunday morning at Iitthad training complex.
The 14 players, who travelled in the first group, participated in the session while the other nine who arrived later, were rested.
While in Saudi Arabia, the Flames are expected to play two international friendly matches against Comoros and Mali as well as other training matches with local clubs.
The Flames are preparing for the delayed 2021 Afcon to take place in Cameroon from January 9 to February 6.
Malawi are in group B alongside Guinea, Zimbabwe and Senegal and will open their campaign against the former on January 10.