The Malawi National Football Team will start their preparations for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers with a local-based players camp from May 8.
A statement from Football Association of Malawi (FAM) said the Flames, who are in group D, will start their campaign at home against Ethiopia before facing Guinea away between May 30 and June 14.
The actual dates and venues are yet to be confirmed by the Confederation of African Football.
FAM competitions and communications director Gomezgani Zakazaka said the local camp will be done in two phases with the first slated for May 8 to 22 while the final is expected by May 30.
He said: “Coach Mario Marinica is expected to invite a maximum of 30 local-based players. The local-based players are being earmarked for both the 2023 Afcon qualifiers as well as the 2023 African Nations Championship [Chan] qualifiers whose draw is yet to be conducted.
“The final squad will be announced at the end of the first phase. Active foreign-based players will only be expected to join the squad at the opening of the Fifa calendar on 30th May.”
Zakazaka said during the camp, players will be allowed to join to their clubs for matches.
Commenting on the arrangement, football analyst Kevin Moyo said early camping is no guarantee for good results.
He said: “In modern football, teams do not camp for long. The longest Fifa allows is five days and mostly during major competitions. Staying in camp for long does not necessarily mean positive results. All good teams these days camp for two days at most.”
On the reason given by FAM that the early camp is to give local players a chance to impress, Moyo said: “Local players are currently playing in the Super League and that is the best platform to identify them for national team duty.”