Malawi captain doubtful for Tunisia clash

Crocked Malawi national team skipper Peter ‘Mjojo’ Mponda is keeping his fingers crossed for him to be released by his club, Santos FC for next weekend’s 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers encounter against Tunisia.

Mponda has just recovered from his knee ligament injury but Malawi coach Kinnah Phiri named the captain in his squad.

The Flames host the Carthage Eagles in a crucial 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on September 3 at Kamuzu Stadium.

In a latest development, Santos FC through their Club’s media officer Llham Dramat asked Football Association of Malawi (FAM) not to include the Flames captain in their plans for the Tunisia game.

“Peter (Mponda) has recovered and he is training well but we doubt if it will be wise for him to start in such a serious match,” Dramat told The Nation.

Mponda (R) and coach Kinnah Phiri; Gamble

Mponda suffered a knee injury in February and was initially expected to be out for eight months.

A win for the Flames will be a big booster for their ambition to qualify for Afcon for the third time, while any result will see them out of the race.

However, the cool-calm sweeper said he was physically fit and ready for the game.

“I am ok and ready for the game, but l am waiting for my club to finalise discussions with FAM,” said Mponda.

FAM commercial and media manager Casper Jangale expressed ignorance on Santo’s letter.

Meanwhile, some of the foreign based players are expected to arrive on Monday.

Russian based, Esau ‘Black Mamba’ Kanyenda told Nyasa Times that he is expected to jet in the country on Monday.

“I will arrive on Monday to join the rest of the squad. We are ready to die for our country because a victory against Tunisia will take us to the promising land,” said Kanyenda, who is currently enjoying his game in Russia.

Other players expected to jet in on Monday are Amazulu dangerous raider Moses ‘Luba’ Chavula, Platinum engine room Robert ‘Baggio’ Ng’ambi, Black Leopards defender Harry Nyirenda.

Malawi are currently third in Group K, level with Tunisia on 10 points with just two games left for each side.

Botswana have already qualified as group winners but with five teams in the pool, the runners-up are also guaranteed a place at the finals in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea next year.

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