Covid hits Flames Camp at AFCON 2022 as 9 tests positive

At least nine members of the Malawi National Team squad have tested positive to Coronavirus in Yaounde, Cameroon just hours before the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) the Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has announced.

The country’s football governing body has said that following Confederation of African Football (CAF) 2021 AFCON pre-match protocols the Flames players and officials underwent a Covid-19 PCR test Saturday just 48 hours before the team’s opening match against Guinea’s national elephants on Monday.

In a statement FAM said six players and three technical staff tested positive and will miss the Monday opening match.

“Unfortunately, nine members of the Flames squad, which include six players and three officials have tested positive to Covid-19 have to go into isolation and and are therefore going to automatically miss the first encounter,” reads in part the statement.

The affected players are defenders,  Peter Cholopi, Lawrence Chaziya, Stanley Sanudi; midfielders Chikoti Chirwa and Robin Ngalande and diminutive but lethal striker and goal poacher, Gabadinho Mhango.

The officials are Head of Technical Panel Mario Marinica, Goalkeeper Trainer Swadick Sanudi and Physiotherapist Chikondi Mandalasi.

According to FAM, the nine are in isolation under the supervision of the team’s Covid-19 medical team led by Dr. Precious Kadzamira.

Head of delegation Tiya Somba Banda said: “It’s a difficult situation that we will not have the players and some of the technical staff for the opening match.

“Our medical team is managing the situation to ensure that the players and the officials recover as soon as possible.”

However, the good news, according to Somba, is that Flames gangling lanky forward, Richard Mbulu will join us on Sunday and will be available for selection and the technical panel has already put a plan accordingly for the Guinea match with Liverpool’s nimble-footed attacking midfielder, Naby Keita leading the charges.

“The Flames will have another test on Wednesday January 12, 2022 and we hope by then the nine would have recovered and cleared for the next match against the warriors of Zimbabwe.”

Meanwhile, in Saudi Arabia Mark Fodya has tested negative for COVID-19 while Charles Petro is still positive.

Fodya is expected to leave Saudi Arabia on Sunday evening and join the team in Cameroon on Monday afternoon.

Petro will remain in isolation in Jeddah and have another test on Monday.

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John Ndaison
John Ndaison
9 days ago

May God help our playes to recover quickly as possible

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