While Flames are set to play only one friendly ahead of their June World Cup qualifiers, their Group F rivals are leaving no stone unturned.
As of now, Flames caretaker coach Eddington Ng’onamo neither knows the opponent nor the date when his charges will play a strength-testing match which is being arranged by FAM.
Ng’onamo had proposed two games against Zimbabwe and Zambia.
Though sounding disappointed, Ng’onamo said they will do with what they can.
“It is no use crying. Half [a] loaf of bread is better than none. If they say we will have just one game then it is okay. We have to do with what we have,” said Ng’onamo.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) chief executive officer Suzgo Nyirenda has played down the effect of preparations of Flames’ opponents, including Nigeria who are scheduled to camp in Germany.
“The games will be played on African soil and the weather is more like the same. They have no advantage whatsoever as long as we do our preparations well. It does not matter whether our opponents camp on the moon or in space,” said Nyirenda.
He, however, admitted that they are yet to find a team to play the Flames. He could not also say when the Flames will go into camp.
Meanwhile Flames’ closest competitors for a place in the third round of World Cup qualifiers, Nigeria’s Super Eagles, have secured the use of Adidas facility (AdiDassler Sportplatz) in Herzogenaurach, Germany.
Malawi are joint leaders with Nigeria on five points after three games.
The African champions, Nigeria, will train in Germany for two weeks ahead of a busy schedule in June when they will face Kenya and Namibia in the World Cup qualifiers as well as feature at the 2013 Fifa Confederations Cup in Brazil.
The Super Eagles will be hosted by Kenyan’s Harambee Stars in Nairobi on June 5 and by Namibia’s Brave Warriors a week later in the same qualifying series.
“The essence of having the team camp in Germany is to have a meeting point and do not also forget that we have the Confederations Cup almost immediately,” spokesperson for the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Ademola Olajire, is reported to have told the media.
The Super Eagles will play Mexico and Jamaica in May before proceeding for camp in Germany, according to NFF.
Flames’ other opponents Kenya are hosting Ghana on June 1, two weeks before they face Flames in Lilongwe. Ghana will use the match to prepare for their clash against Sudan whereas Kenya will use it to tune up for the return World Cup qualifier against Nigeria.
Football Kenya Federation (FKF) chairperson Sam Nyamweya said Ghana opted to play Kenya because of the top form of the Harambee Stars following their performance in last month’s World Cup qualifier against Nigeria.
“I can confirm to you that [Harambee] Stars will play Ghana in an international friendly in Nairobi on June 1,” Nyamweya told SuperSport.
“We are glad to line up such a high-profile friendly match that will play a huge part of our continued preparations ahead of Nigeria.”
Ghana have in recent years made Kenya their traditional camping site ahead of crucial encounters due to its location and conducive weather.
Meanwhile, Kenya coach Adel Amrouche has engaged a psychologist as they prepare for the return leg fixture against Super Eagles in their race for the 2014 World Cup.
Amrouche believes his charges did not display enough self-confidence during their first leg fixture with the Eagles in Calabar despite snatching a point.
He told The Daily Nation (Nigeria) that the psychologist would work on the players at least a month before hosting the African champions.