Malawi National team the Flames’ failure to qualify for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) has been described as a let down to the nation.
Flames drew 0-0 with Ethiopia on Wednesday evening at the time the country was hoping for the team to make it to the final stage in Equatorial Guinea next year.
Team Captain Joseph Kamwendo did not mince words but to admit that the team indeed let the nation down by failing to qualify for the Afcon finals second time in the past 10 years.
“It’s difficult to comment when you find yourself in such a painful situation, but suffice to say we have let the nation down,” said Kamwendo.
He added: “We certainly could have done better, but I guess it’s one of those things.”
However, Kamwendo said the team tried its best, adding that it’s important to keep this team together.
The TP Mazembe midfielder said it was a tall order for Flames to make it through to the finals considering the circumstances the team went through in the final qualifying matches.
“There were so many problems that we faced behind the scenes in the countdown to the games, to a certain extent had a psychological effect on the players who were left wondering as whether there was any commitment towards the national football team,” said Kamwendo.
Flames hopes were dashed after Mali booked their ticket in Group B after beating 2-0 Algeria which had already won the group.
“Despite all that we went through, we showed that we are a good side and with better support, we could have done better. This is a national team and the responsibility cannot be left to FAM alone.”
Veteran striker Esau Kanyenda told Nyasa Times apologised on behalf of his teammates for the disappointment.
“All I want to say is sorry to the fans who have been disappointed, we are also affected by the way things turned out in Ethiopia,” he said.
The Polokwane City vastly experienced striker asked fans not to completely give up on the team.
He urged them to continue to pray for the players to psychologically recover and build a formidable team for the future.
And Head coach, Young Chimodzi, said it was disappointing to miss out on qualification.
“We fought hard but it was not meant to be. It’s disappointing,” said Chimodzi.
Chimodzi made one change in the squad that beat Mali 2-0 last Saturday at Kamuzu stadium replacing out of form Frank Gabadinho Mhango with Gastin Simukonda but had to rest Simimkonda for Frank Banda.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :