Football Association of Malawi (FAM) says today’s tripartite elections will affect Flames’ training ahead of the Cosafa Cup scheduled for May 25 to June 8 in Durban, South Africa.
The association’s general secretary Alfred Gunda yesterday said the team does not have enough time for preparations and there are some players who registered outside Blantyre.
“But we cannot stop the players and technical staff from exercising their constitutional right to vote,” he said.
The Flames regrouped in Blantyre on Sunday evening and they are expected to depart for South Africa this Thursday.
“It’s a tricky situation because we only have two days of full time training before departure,” Gunda said.
“So, maybe those that can manage will be allowed to go and vote. Of course, it should not be assumed that all the [29 local-based players] registered to vote, but still it is a tight situation.”
Flames team manager James Sangala said out of the 25 local-based players that had reported for camp training by yesterday morning, 12 are registered voters.
“Five of them, Chikoti Chirwa, Charles Thom, Mecium Mhone, Hassan Kajoke and Shumacher Kuwali registered outside Blantyre.
“Chikoti registered in Zomba, Thom in Dwangwa, [Nkhotakota], Kajoke in Mangochi while Mhone and Kuwali registered in Nkhata Bay and Lilongwe, respectively. Out of these, only Mhone is yet to make a concrete decision on whether he will travel to vote,” he said.
Sangala added: “Besides, we are yet to get in touch with four Be Forward Wanderers players who are yet to join us as they still in transit from the North.”
However, he is optimistic the situation will not affect their training schedule much as the majority of players will be available.
“The good number of players will vote from within Blantyre, so hopefully we will proceed with our training schedule,” he said.
The team manager said nine out of the 12 Lilongwe-based players did not register.
“As for the technical panel, only Lovemore Fazili registered outside Blantyre and he too will be excused to travel to Lilongwe,” he said.