South Africa-based estranged Flames captain Limbikani Mzava says Malawi should expect a tight fixture next year following the postponement of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) on Tuesday moved the biennial tournament to January 2022, while cancelling the 2021 Women’s Afcon.
He said: “It points to a tight fixture as we will also have to play the 2022 World Cup qualifiers next year.”
On his part, Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Walter Nyamilandu said the postponement will help Malawi prepare thoroughly for the qualifiers which will be rescheduled.
He said: “It is a blessing in disguise as it will give us ample time for preparations.
“On the other hand, the lack of activity and long lay-off of the Flames will disturb the excellent form that the Flames acquired, having performed extremely well at last year’s Cosafa tournament and qualified for the next phase of the World Cup preliminary rounds.
“So, we need to devise a robust plan on how the team can gel quickly so that it does not lose its form, but continue from where it left off.”
On the prospects of national team coach Meck Mwase’s contract expiring in the midst of the Afcon qualifiers, the FAM president said: “His contract will be reviewed accordingly.
“All I can say is that the overall performance of the coach will have to take into account the impact of Covid-19 on the Flames over duration. This is beyond the control of everyone else.
On his part, Mwase said: “There is nothing we can do about it. Football is suspended everywhere because of the pandemic.”
Malawi is in group B alongside Burkina Faso, Uganda and South Sudan.
They are currently third with three points from two games, having beaten South Sudan 1-0 in their opening qualifier before going down 2-0 to Uganda in their second match.