Football Association of Malawi disowns purported COSAFA squad

The Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has disowned a 20-member call-up making rounds alleged to have been released by the body for the forthcoming COSAFA Cup.

Media houses and social networks have since Monday been publicizing the so-called provisional list claiming to have been issued by the country’s soccer body.

But FAM Chief Executive, Suzgo Nyirenda, has quashed the squad saying they were yet to release an official list of players to go into camp in preparation for the tournament scheduled for Zambia from July 6 to 20.

Nyirenda has since requested Malawians to disregard the purported squad until next week when FAM will make public an official list.

Nyirenda: FAM will release an official squad
Nyirenda: FAM will release an official squad

“I was puzzled to hear that we have released a provisional squad. Sports reporters know that whenever we release a call up, it is signed by FAM and sent to all media houses.

“What happened is that we sent a tentative list to enable COSAFA to some bookings in terms of accommodation and transport in Zambia. That list has nothing to do with the team that will be travelling to Zambia and it’s unfortunate people just copied that list which was put on COSAFA website without verifying with us,” explained Nyirenda.

He said the names only represented a number of players travelling for the tournament and not that they are the ones going.

“Those names are only 20 but when we release a squad for camping we normally have 25 or more players.

“We expect to release the names of players next week, probably by 25th or 26th of June, once we have finalised everything and we have received funding from government,” the FAM CEO told Nyasa Times.

Nyirenda said the team was expected to start camping on 1st July and it will be in camp for less than 10 days before flying to Zambia.

Malawi will face holders Zimbabwe in the quarterfinals of the COSAFA Cup Zambia 2013 after being given a bye because of their standing in region.

The Flames’ best finish in the competition has been runners-up secured in 2002 and 2003 when they lost to South Africa and Zimbabwe respectively in the finals.

And the alleged squad that has been making rounds has Owen Chaima and Charles Swini as goalkeepers while defenders are Sankhani Mkandawire, Douglas Chirambo, John Lanjesi, Lucky Malata, Bongani Kaipa and George Nyirenda.

In midfield there is Young Chimodzi Junior, Fisher Kondowe, Davie Banda, Patrick Gunde, Ndaziona Chatsalira, Joel Chipofya, Frank Banda, Chimango Kaira while Gaston Simkonda, Gabadinho Mhango, Rodrick Gonani and Micium Mhone make the striking force.

Coach Eddingtone Ng’onamo has included veterans Fisher Kondowe and Davie Banda, together with an exciting mix of young rising stars in the Malawi game.

Rodrick Gonani is another experienced striker, who has been on and off the team while others faces include Silver Strikers captain Lucky Malata, midfielders Patrick Gunde (Civo United) and Junior Chimodzi (Silver Stars).

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