Burly forward Chiukepo ‘Yakubu’ Msowoya has been ruled out of next weekend’s do-or-die 2014 World Cup qualifier against Nigeria due to a recurring calf muscle injury and has since been replaced by Harvey Nkacha.
The Mozambique-based striker said he pulled his muscles during training early this week.
“It is not that serious, but our team doctor has recommended that I should rest for a while.
“I am very disappointed that I won’t make it to Nigeria, but I have faith in my colleagues,” said the Maxaquene striker from Maputo.
Also out of the squad is battle-hardened forward Esau ‘Black Mamba’ Kanyenda who was left out due to injury, but has since bounced back into action.
Apart from Chiukepo and Kanyenda, the squad will also be without influential captain Joseph ‘Shakira’ Kamwendo who, according to coach Tom Saintfiet, does not fit in his plans for the showdown against the reigning African champions.
Kamwendo yesterday told The Nation he has come to terms with reality that he will not be part of the Calabar battle.
“It is okay brother, I have taken it as a true professional and I am fine with it because the team is more important than me.
“Whatever comes, I will always be ready to serve my country,” he said.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) chief executive officer Suzgo Nyirenda confirmed Chiukepo’s injury in a statement issued on Wednesday.
The FAM CEO also said depending on the outcome of the negotiations with government on funding, the team is scheduled to fly out to Botswana on August 31 for next Tuesday’s training match against the Zebras at National Stadium in Gaborone before proceeding to Nigeria the following day [Wednesday].
The 30-member squad, that will be led by FAM executive member David Dube, also includes team physio Augustine Banda.