Malawi national football team caretaker coach Eddington Ng’onamo has been forced to leave the squad and return from Namibia because his son has died, Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has said.
FAM boss Suzgo Nyirenda said Ng’onamo will not be in charge for his first competitive match since taking over from Kinnah Phiri when the Flames face Brave Warriors in a Group F 2014 World Cup qualifying match at Windhoek’s Sam Nujoma Stadium on Saturday, kick-off 5pm.
“The coach has lost his son. He is returning to be with the family during the funeral ceremony. Our thoughts our with the family,” said Nyirenda.
Ng’onamo assistants Patrick Mabedi and Ernest Mtawali will guide the Flames as both teams go in search of keeping the heat on group leaders Nigeria.
The two sides occupy second and third place on the log respectively. Namibia sit on three points, one point above Malawi and one point behind 2013 Africa Cup of Nations champions Nigeria.
Malawi drew both of their opening two games while Namibia beat Kenya at home, but lost to group leaders Nigeria in their two games.
Namibia coach Bernard Kaanjuka said:“Kenya is now travelling to Nigeria and we don’t know what will happen there. But if it happens that they draw the game and we beat Malawi, then we will be on top of the group. So we can’t wait for Kenya to do the job for us, we have to do it ourselves, so we have to beat Malawi.”
The Flames lost 1-0 to Botswana in a warm-up game on Tuesday.
Namibia currently occupy number 121 in the Fifa world rankings while Malawi are 10 places below the Brave Warriors in 111th spot.
The Flames are ranked 30th in Africa, while Namibia occupy 34th position.