Moldova-based Flames duo of Charles Petro and Peter Banda beat a lockdown by some hours after the country’s government imposed a State of Emergency following a third wave of Covid-19 across Europe.
The lockdown, including a travel ban, was effected yesterday after the Moldova Supreme Security Council last week recommended that the government should declare a two-week State of Emergency over Covid-19 situation.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) competitions and communications director Gomezgani Zakazaka said the two players left the country before the lockdown was effected and will join the Flames in Sudan for Wednesday’s 2022 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier against South Sudan.
He said: “The players were already on their way to Sudan [when the lockdown was effected]. They started off early morning [Sunday] via Turkey, where they linked up with Georgia based Francisco Madinga.”
Moldova Football Federation (FMF) has since complied with the government directive and suspended leagues with immediate effect.
A statement from FMF said: “The Emergency Public Health Commission has decided to cancel all domestic competitions, including football championship.
“Thus, the tournament in the National Division and in Division A, the second part of which should have started today, has been paused.
“The exact date of the resumption of tournaments has not yet been announced. Hopefully, this will happen very soon”
Meanwhile, the Flames, who were still in Ethiopia after a 4-0 loss to Ethiopia in an international friendly last week, were expected to fly to Sudan yesterday.
Six South Africa-based players Frank Gabadinho Mhango, Richard Mbulu, Gerald Phiri Jnr, Khuda Muyaba, Limbikani Mzava and Dennis Chembezi are scheduled to fly to Sudan this afternoon before connecting to Khartoum, Sudan in Addis Ababa at midnight.
South Sudan’s Stars are playing their games in Khartoum because their home, Juba Stadium, is closed for renovations.
Malawi beat South Sudan 1-0 in the first leg at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre, which is so far also the Flames’ only victory in Group B.
The group also has Burkina Faso and second-placed Uganda who will also face off in Kampala, Uganda on Wednesday.