Be Forward Wanderers will leave for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on Thursday for Sunday’s CAF Champions League preliminary round first leg tie against AS Vita.
Until yesterday morning, there was still a cloud of uncertainty regarding the Nomads’ participation in the continental club showpiece, but Football Association of Malawi (FAM) acting competitions manager Casper Jangale said the Nomads have now confirmed their participation.
“They [Wanderers] have been in touch and have confirmed their participation complete with their travel itinerary,” he said.
FAM had given the Nomads a grace period of until noon yesterday to confirm their participation after making a U-turn on their intention to withdraw.
Nomads general secretary MikeButao could not be reached for comment, but a top club official who asked for anonymity, confirmed that the team will depart on Thursday via Ethiopia from where they will connect to Kinshasa.
“This means that we will no longer go through Zambia for an international friendly match [against Red Arrows].
“So, we can assure our fans that we are taking part and as I am talking to you now, the players and technical staff are analysing video clips of AS Vita’s recent matches,” he said.
The Nomads sponsors, Be Forward, were irked after learning about the players’ sit-in, a development that led to the reversal of a $72 800 [about K53.4 million] transaction meant for the two preliminary games.
This led to the club asking FAM to notify the Confederation of African Football (CAF) on their intention to pull out from the continental showpiece, before making a U-turn a few hours later.
However, as of yesterday it was not clear whether Be Forward are funding the trip.
Had they withdrawn, the Nomads risked a $5 000 (about K3.7 million) fine and a two-year ban from taking part in a CAF tournament, among other penalties.
Meanwhile, Masters Security FC are scheduled to depart tomorrow for Angola for their CAF Confederation Cup preliminary round first leg fixture against Atletico Petroleos de Luanda also on Sunday.
The club’s general secretary Zacharia Nyirenda told the media yesterday that they will spend a night in Addis Ababa before proceeding to Luanda on Thursday.
Masters coach Abbas Makawa has since urged the soccer fraternity not to read much into the results of their preparatory local matches.
Before losing 2-0 to Nyasa Big Bullets on Sunday, Masters also lost to the Nomads 4-0 in strength-testing matches.
“The Angolan team might not be the same as Bullets or Wanderers in terms of strength and class. This will be a different team and the approach will be totally different,” he said. n