The South Africa Premier Soccer League (PSL) has done the Flames a favour by suspending the league’s fixtures to pave the way for the September’s 2014 Cosafa Senior Challenge Cup in Botswana.
The suspension of the PSL fixtures between September 13 and 28, to enable Bafana Bafana feature its regulars, also guarantee the Flames of availability of its key players such as Frank ‘Gabadinho’ Mhango, Robin Ngalande, Limbikani Mzava, Atusaye Nyondo, Robert Ng’ambi, Esau Kanyenda and Harry Nyirenda.
FAM chief executive officer Suzgo Nyirenda on Wednesday said they expect PSL teams to release players although they are not obliged to do so as the Cosafa Cup falls outside Fifa match day calendar.
“They have done this in South Africa because they want to send a strong contingent to Cosafa. This also gives us a chance to do the same. It is an advantage,” explained Nyirenda.
Flames last reached the Cosafa final in 2002 and 2003 with Kanyenda as the inspirational figure. Last year, under freelancer coach Tom Saintfiet, Malawi finished empty-handed at the contest held in Zambia.
“This is important for the national team as the Cosafa Cup falls between the second and third rounds of qualifying for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations. It will give the coaches of the respective Cosafa nations additional time to work with their home-based players,” reads www.cosafa.com
“The decision of the PSL is also good news for the likes of Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia and Botswana, who have a number of their top players plying their trade at South African.”