Malawiâ€™s Under-17 national soccer team is set to leave the country Wednesday for Botswanaâ€”just two days before their Africa Youth Championship preliminary round return leg against the Young Zebras.
According to Football Association of Malawi (FAM) chief executive officer Suzgo Nyirenda, the Junior Flames will take on Botswana on Friday evening at Molepolole Stadium.
Nyirenda defended the tight itinerary, saying it has been done considering the costs.
â€œWe are aware that it would have been better had the team left earlier so as to have enough time to rest and acclimatise, but then costs of flights have gone up and the only cheaper flights that we could find are on Wednesday,â€ said Nyirenda.
He said the team would have spent double as much leaving earlier through Johannesburg as the cost of the tickets are in the excess of K600 000 each (about $2 000).
â€œIf they travel on Wednesday, they will pay half the amount [about K300 000 or $1 000] for each ticket because they will go through Harare and then Gaborone,â€ he said.
He argued that the team will still have time to rest.
â€œThey are expected to be in Gaborone by 2.30pm on Wednesday. That means they can rest for the rest of the afternoon and then loosen up the following day [Thursday].â€
The Junior Flames came from behind to win the first leg 2-1 at Civo Stadium last weekend.