Flames coach names 2023 AFCON qualifiers squad against Egypt

After their Saudi Arabia training camp, Malawi national football team coach Mario Marinica has named his 27-member final squad for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers against Egypt in back-to-back fixtures — starting with Match Day 3 away on Friday, March 24 at Stadium Air Defence in Cairo.

Match Day 4 will be at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe on Tuesday, March 28.

Egypt coach Rui Vitória, whose team currently sit bottom of Group D having picked up three points from their opening two games, has also announced his 24-man squad that includes Liverpool FC’s talisman, Mohamed Salah.

Flames training camp in Saudi Arabia

Under former coach Ehab Galal, Egypt beat Guinea at home, before falling down to Ethiopia in Malawi, which led all teams of the group to tie on points — however, the Pharaohs’ goal difference put them last.

Coach Vitória is reported to have included seven foreign-based legion — leaving out Mohamed Elneny and Mahmoud Trezeguet due to injury.

Now with new manager Rui Vitória, Egypt will play two successive double-headers against Malawi, first on March 24 in Cairo, before facing each other again in Malawi four days later.

Also dropped are Ipswich Town skipper Sam Morsy and CF Montréal midfielder Ahmed Hamdi while the seven-foreign based players were joined by further seven from Cairo giants Al Ahly, including Mohamed El-Shennawy, Mohamed Hany, Mohamed Abdelmonem, and Mahmoud Kahraba.

Their full squad:

Goalkeepers: Mohamed El-Shennawy (Al Ahly), Ahmed El-Shennawy (Pyramids FC), Mohamed Sobhi (Zamalek).

Defenders: Ahmed Fetouh (Zamalek), Mohamed Abdelmonem, Mohamed Hany (Al Ahly), Ali Gaber, Osama Galal, Mohamed Hamdi (Pyramids FC), Ahmed Hegazi (Ittihad Jeddah), Hesham Salah (Ittihad of Alexandria).

Midfielders: Tarek Hamed (Ittihad Jeddah), Hamdi Fathi, Marwan Ateya, Ahmed Abdelkader (Al Ahly), Ahmed Sayed Zizo (Zamalek), Mostafa Fathi (Pyramids FC), Mahmoud Hamada (Pharco FC), Emam Ashour (FC Midtjylland), Mohamed Salah (Liverpool FC).

Forwards: Mahmoud Kahraba (Al Ahly), Ahmed Hassan Kouka (Alanyaspor), Mostafa Mohamed (FC Nantes), Omar Marmoush (VfL Wolfsburg).

Meanwhile, Football Association of Malawi (FAM), announces that it has resolved to donate proceeds of the 2023 NBS Bank FAM Charity Shield match between FCB Nyasa Bullets and Mighty Mukuru Wanderers on April 9 to the Cyclone Freddy survivors.

A report on Fam.mw says football fraternity has not been spared from the disaster as its internal stakeholders have also been directly impacted by the natural disaster.

“Mhala Mpholia, a promising 15-year-old footballer of Genesis Academy — which plays in our Blantyre & District Mmera Mpoyamba Under-16 League — had his life prematurely terminated when his parents’ house was swept away in Manja township.

“McDonald Mtetemera, Flames former international and now Elite Coach and Enos Chatama, Malawi Under-17 assistant coach, have both lost their houses and properties due to the raging sweeping Cyclone Freddy waters in Blantyre.

“In addition to the three above, thousands of our football fans are mourning and in great pain and distress. Our beautiful game of football is nothing without supporters who are our biggest stakeholder and main source of revenue.”

Thus FAM resolving on diverting the revenue from the Charity Shield towards the survivors, saying as a good corporate citizen, they just had to play an active role in mobilizing resources — “to compliment efforts by the Malawi government in mitigating the suffering of the victims”.

“This year FAM and NBS Bank initially planned to target the education sector, after supporting the victims of Cylone Idai with Charity Shield donation in 2022.

“However, after appreciating the extent of damage and the urgent need to support the thousands of people who are in pain and suffering, FAM has been compelled to forgo those plans and help the Cyclone Freedy victims.

“FAM also commits to donate part of the proceeds from the 2023 AFCON qualifying match between Malawi and Egypt at the Bingu National Stadium on March 28 for the same cause.

“In addition, FAM will mobilize donations, financial and in kind, from the fans coming to watch these matches at Bingu National Stadium. Just like last year, FAM with NBS Bank will work with the Malawi Red Cross Society who will help channel the donations mobilized to the rightful beneficiaries.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with those who are mourning and we pray for quick recovery to those who have been injured,” said the report.

On Monday, Malawi National Council of Sports Board chairperson, Sunduzwayo Madise appealed to the public to contribute towards alleviating plight of Cyclone Freddy flood disaster survivors, saying the magnitude of their suffering is unprecedented.

He said this after presenting a K5 million cheque to the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) in the office of the President & Cabinet to go towards assisting the flash flood disaster survivors in the Southern Region.

Madise took note that their contribution “is not much but felt the need that whatever little can be of significance”, adding that they “felt it was obligatory on our part to help”.

“It’s not a lot of money but it’s what we can afford at the current period,” he said. “We are hoping that our affiliates can also contribute — including individuals like myself.

“The survivors are suffering — I had the chance to visit Mulanje and it was disheartening to witness what they are going through. Let’s all contribute with any little we can afford to alleviate the suffering they are going through.”

On Sunday, golfers at Blantyre Sports Club — trending as Chip Inn Masters — engaged the Malawi Red Cross Society to reach out to survivors camped at at Montfort Demonstration Primary School in the compound of Catholic University in Nguludi in Chiradzulu District, an area which was not spared of disaster but little is known about it.

The Chip Inn Masters was formed a camaraderie grouping that was enhanced further by initiating an annual charity drive — through which they identify a project they can assist every year.

Soon after Cyclone Freddy struck, they swiftly mobilized funds that totalled K2 million to assist survivors of the flash floods that devastated the Southern Region.

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