Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera will watch the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers match between the Flames and Ethiopia on Sunday at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe.
State House Press Secretary Anthony Kasunda confirmed that President Chakwera will join a strong 20,000 fans to give the Flames the push to start the Afcon campaign on a positive note.
Meanwhile, State television MBC said he would arrive at 2:30pm, just 30 minutes before official kick off of the match.
Vice-President Saulos Chilima will also watch the game, according to a statement released by his Press Secretary Pilirani Phiri.
Football analyst David Kanyenda, who is a lawyer, commended the President for the move, saying Zambian presidents have been known to be regular spectators of their national team, Chipolopolo games while first Malawi President Hastings Kamuzu Banda used to watch games as part of Republic Day Celebrations (July 6).
“It’s been officially confirmed that Number 1 Citizen will (watch) Flames game against Ethiopia on Sunday. The presence of the President can be a double edged sword.
“It may spur the lads to victory or it may buoy the guests to embarrass the home team in front of the Big Kahuna. It may also cause stage fright for the hosts and even freeze them out of their usual strides. It could have a similar effect on the guests,” Kanyenda wrote on his Facebook page.
However, analysts have warned the hosts not to underrate the visitors as their league is professionally well run league.
Meanwhile, Ethiopia are expected to arrive on Saturday for the match with a predominant squad of players from the domestic league with only one plying his trade in Egypt.
On the each hand, Malawi will have five foreign-based players in Frank Gabadinho Mhango and Khuda Muyaba based in South Africa, Charles Petro from Moldova, Francisco Madinga based in Georgia, Lawrence Chaziya of Jordan while Tanzania based Peter Banda has been ruled out due to injury.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :