FCB Nyasa Bullets say they have given up on convincing Football Association of Malawi (FAM) to exempt their players from Saturday’s 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier against Guinea.
The People’s Team wrote FAM to consider exempting their players so that they could concentrate on prepations for their TotalEnergies CAF Champions League second preliminary round qualifiers against Democratic Republic of Congo side TP Mazembe.
Bullets have contributed six players to the Flames’ final squad for the match which will be of academic interest as the Flames are out of contention for a slot at the continental showpiece.
In an interview on Tuesday, Bullets chief executive officer Suzgo Nyirenda said FAM did not respond to their letter
He said: “We have just given up on the matter because FAM did not even bother to respond.
“As I said earlier, our concern was that our players risk sustaining injuries from a match that will just be of academic interest
“On the other hand, we felt the players would think that we are infringing on their rights.
“So, we are just keeping our fingers crossed that none of them will get injured.”
Bullets’ concerns came at a time when injuries have deprived them of some key players such as Alick Lungu, Stanley Billiat, Mike Mkwate, Hassan Kajoke, Precious Sambani and Eric Kaonga.
FAM competitions and communications director Gomezgani Zakazaka said being a Fifa sanctioned match, the players are obliged to national duty.
“It is a high-profile match and even Bullets stand to benefit from the exposure.They won’t be realeased,” he said.
Bullets’ players in the squad are goalkeeper Clever Nkugula, defender Blessings Mpokera, midfielders Peter Banda, Frank Willard and Patrick Mwaungulu and striker Lanjesi Nkhoma.
Bullets will host TP Mazembe in the first leg at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe on September 15, just six days after the Flames’ final qualifier against the Syli Nationale.