The confederation of African Football (CAF) delay to provide a solution to the clash of dates for the Flames 2017 Afcon qualifier against Guinea is preventing Football Association of Malawi (FAM) from confirming a training match against Sierra Leone.
FAM general secretary Suzgo Nyirenda yesterday confirmed that they agreed a training game with Sierra Leone at the Fifa congress as part of the Flames preparations for Guinea.
“But the challenge now is that we cannot agree on the date for the training game because CAF is yet to determine the dates of the Guinea games,” he said.
Guinea chose March 26 as the date for the first leg in Conakry while FAM chose the following day (March 27) for the second leg which is practically impossible in terms of logistics.
“So, we have sent CAF a reminder to sort out the issue so that we can finalise planning on the Guinea trip including the training game against Sierra Leone.
“In principle Sierra Leone have accepted and all we are waiting for is official confirmation and, crucially, communication from CAF on the clash of dates,” said Nyirenda.
He said neither FAM nor the Guinea FA is to blame for the lapse on dates as they each chose from a list of dates they were allocated.
“Guinea were given between March 23 and 26 while we were given between March 27 and 29.
“As an alternative, Guinea suggested that we play the first leg on (Friday) March 25 in Guinea and then play the return leg on March 29, but we said no because we would also want to play during weekend.”
Meanwhile, Flames coach Ernest Mtawali said the training game against Sierra Leone would be ideal as they too are preparing for a Group I match against Gabon.
“The flight from Sierra Leone to Guinea takes less than an hour and it would also help us try the game formation and tactics since foreign-based players would have joined us by then. So, it suits us fine,” he said.
Guinea, who are ranked 117 on Fifa rankings, will host Gabon on March 25.