Malawi national netball team, the Queens wrap up their Africa Netball Champions campaign this afternoon in a dead-rubber match against Kenya at Olympic Youth Development Centre in Lusaka, Zambia.
Despite recovering from the first ever in shock loss to Zambia to beat Namibia 86-47 yesterday, the Queens already surrendered the battle for the top position to Zimbabwe and defending champions Uganda.
Malawi lost two matches to Uganda and Zambia and have six points.
Even if they beat the Kenyans today, they cannot over take Uganda.
The defending champions lead the table having maintained their 100 percent unbeaten record after overcoming Zambia yesterday.
They have 10 points going into the last day of the competition against second-placed Zimbabwe who have eight points, having lost only to Malawi.
Even if Malawi beat Kenya, they cannot vie for the top two positions.
The best the Queens can achieve is the third position.
The results from Zambia have shocked netball fans back home who never dreamt that the Queens, one of the best teams in the world, would lose to the likes of Zambia.
Dave Kambani Itai doubted if Malawi can reclaim its status as the continent’s netball giants.
He said: “Apparently, Uganda has now overtaken us in terms of the progress of the game. Now even Zambia is beating us. Where have we got it wrong? Is there any hope that we can redeem the situation?”
Apart from poor funding and lack of infrastructure, lack of proper youth development programmes is some of the reason pundits have attributed Malawi’s downfall.
“I’m afraid we are on a downward spiral. The signs have always been there. Perhaps we didn’t read the signs of times,” said netball analyst Wesley Thoko Namasala.
Despite the Queens terrible performance, coach Griffin Saenda said the results are a food for thought as the team prepares for Fast5 in October and Netball World Cup next year.