Ministry of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development has said it is negotiating with its Chinese counterparts to bring their full-strength squad for next month’s friendly match against the Flames.
The match, to be played on January 28 next year, will be part of the activities at the launch of the Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe.
Earlier reports indicated that China would bring a select team for the match, but Minister of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development Henry Mussa, said: “We want China to bring their national side because apart from it being a match to celebrate the opening of the state-of-the-art stadium, it will also give our players a chance to learn some tactics and techniques from their Chinese counterparts.
“Currently, officials from both sides are flat out working on the logistics.”
The minister said it will be a momentous occasion where State President Peter Mutharika will be the guest of honour.
The opening of the stadium has been postponed a number of times, but Mussa said this time around it is fixed.
“We are hoping to have a full house and the expectation is that all of us—players and spectators included—will uphold three pillars of patriotism, integrity and hard work to ensure that this day be part of the history of our nation,” he said.
Bingu National Stadium’s operations manager Eric Ning’ang’a said after several meetings, they had finally agreed to open it next year.
“The President has already approved the date and he will officially open the facility. We are expecting a delegation of more than 50 people from China for event,” he said.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Walter Nyamilandu said they are hoping that by that time, a new coach for the Flames would have been hired.
“But we can always pick an interim coach if there is any delay,” he said.
China are currently ranked 83rd—20 places above the Flames.