Malawi National Women’s Football Team’s Zambia-based players Chimwemwe Madise and Patricia Nyirenda jetted into the country on Tuesday ahead of the Cosafa Women’s Championship.
The Lusaka Dynamos defenders, who are the only foreign-based players in the squad, have since joined the Scorchers camp at Mpira Village in Chiwembe Township, Blantyre in preparation for the tournament set for September 28 to October 9 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
The former DD Sunshine and Ntopwa Queens players said they were excited to be with the team for the first time after signing for the Lusaka-based outfit earlier this year.
“It’s good to be back home and I look forward to joining my teammates for the tournament,” said Madise.
Malawi’s Scorchers, who are in Group A alongside South Africa, Mozambique and Angola, will kick off their campaign against the hosts and defending champions on September 28 before facing Mozambique on October 1.
Their last group stage match will be against Angola on October 4.
The Scorchers are without a coach after Ascent Soccer Academy trainer Thom Mkolongo turned down the job, citing other commitments.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) is expected to appoint a replacement before the team leaves for South Africa next week.
FAM general secretary Alfred Gunda on Tuesday said the team’s preparations are going on well despite training without a head coach.
He said: “There is no need to panic. There are people out there who are coaching the team.
“But the one who will be in charge will be named before the team leaves for South Africa.”
In the absence of the head coach, assistant coaches Andrew Chikhosi and McNerbert Kazuwa have been training the team with Chisomo Nkhoma as assistant coach while Under-20 national football team coach Patrick Mabedi is the technical adviser.
The team returns to the Cosafa Championship after losing 6-2 to South Africa in the semi-finals in 2020 edition.
In group stages, Malawi white-washed Lesotho 9-0 before edging rivals Zambia 1-0 to make it to the knockout stage.
The Scorchers will be without China-based key players Tabitha Chawinga and her sister Temwa, who excused themselves due to Covid-19 travel restrictions.
Last year, the two sisters were later stranded in Africa for several months after the Cosafa Women’s Champions, due to the Covid-19 travel restrictions.
Mozambican Football Federation [FMF] reached an agreement with its Moroccan counterpart for the Mambas to host their qualifying matches to the Qatar 2022 World Cup, against Cameroon [October 10] and Malawi [November 16], in Tangier.”Zimpeto National Stadium, the
The statement further said the choice of Morocco suits the bulk of Mambas players who play in European leagues.
As it stands, FAM needs an extra K200 million for the upcoming back-to-back qualifiers against Ivory Coast in South Africa on October 8 with the return away leg slated for four days later.
But last week, the Ministry of Youth and Sports said it will be difficult to negotiate extra funding for Flames.
Director of sports Jameson Ndalama said extra funding would be difficult because of the budget constraints.
“So, we are waiting to hear from [Ministry of] Finance to advise us on the way forward. That is the position,” he said.
The Flames are third in the four-team with three points from two matches, having lost their opening match 2-0 to Cameroon before edging Mozambique 1-0. Malawi are tied on three points with second-placed Cameroon while Ivory Coast top the group with four points. Mozambique anchor the group with a point.