Four Malawian players detained in South Africa, sent home

The four Malawian players that were held at the OR Tambo International Airport over the weekend for failing to produce valid Yellow Fever certificates as per the country’s health regulations have been sent back to their homeland.

Atusaye Nyondo of SuperSport United, Santos midfielder Tawonga Chimodzi, Black Leopards’ David Banda and Limbikani Mzava of Bloemfontein arrived at the airport last Friday from Chad via Nairobi, Kenya where they had played against the hosts in a 2012 Afcon qualifier.

However, they were all refused entry into the country and then detained before being sent to Malawi where they will now have to acquire their yellow fever certificates.

Chimodzi: Sent home

Airport officials had initially threatened to send them back to Kenya where they had flown in from.

Regulations stipulate that everyone travelling from Kenya and Chad – both of which are classified yellow fever regions – must have a valid yellow fever certificate to gain entry into South Africa.

The quartet had strangely been allowed through at the airport in Nairobi with the same invalid certificates that led to their troubles in Johannesburg.

Even after acquiring their yellow fever certificates in Malawi the four players will only be allowed back in the country on Friday as re-entry is only allowed after at least five days afterwards.

Edries Burton – the chief operations officer at Santos confirms that he has made contract with Chimodzi in Malawi while John Maduka the Celtic team manager also adds that their player Mzava is back home.

Two other players Chiukepo Msowoya of Platinum Stars and AmaZulu defender Moses Chavula were detained in Nairobi for not having the yellow fever certificates and had to acquire new ones before proceeding.

“I was detained with Chiukepo at the airport on Nairobi because we didn’t have any yellow books at all as the ones that we had (also invalid) were in our bags which were lost on our way to Chad unlike the other guys who had theirs. We missed the flight that the other guys came to Johannesburg on as we had to first get the injections and the yellow books at the airport before getting onto another flight.

“Maybe it was a blessing in disguise that our yellow fever books were in our luggage that was lost because we are now back with our clubs while the other guys have had to go through more disruptions,” says Chavula.

Banda and Nyondo have already missed club fixtures played over the weekend while Chimodzi will also miss the Nedbank Cup match against TUKS on Wednesday.

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