Flames coach Patrick Mabedi has a full squad for tomorrow’s 2026 Fifa World Cup qualifier against The Lone Stars of Liberia at Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville, Monrovia.
This follows the arrival in Monrovia of defender Dennis Chembezi who plays for Al-Qasim SC in Iraq.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) competitions and communications director Gomezgani Zakazaka in an interview said Chembezi joined the team at Sinko Palace Hotel yesterday.
The centre-back completed the list of foreign-based players alongside Brighton Munthali of Black Leopards in South Africa, John CJ Banda of UD Songo in Zambia, Chifundo Mphasi of Kabwe Warriors FC in Zambia and Lloyd Njaliwa of Costa do Sol in Mozambique.
“The team will have two training sessions today [Wednesday]. This morning they will train at Invisible Sports Park while in the afternoon they will train at the match venue Samuel Kanyon Doe Stadium,” said Zakazaka.
The two training sessions were the first for Mabedi who bemoaned the team’s poor preparations ahead of the qualifier.
The tactician said in an interview the preparations were not to his expectation.
He said: “It was very tough and hectic. It was difficult to because football fixtures in Malawi are still on. We didn’t want to disturb the league fixtures. We had to leave it to run smoothly.
“It was difficult to get the players that were involved in TNM Super League matches until the last day of training which was on Sunday.
“Some players came Sunday evening and we just had recovery with them on Monday morning. At least we had eight players from [Mighty Mukuru]Wanderers and Silver Strikers that are regulars.
“It has been a difficult time for us as technical team. But there is nothing we can do. We just have to find solutions.”
Mabedi further said he asked for a strength-testing match, but FAM turned down the request due to lack of funds.
“Look, it’s a setback. I mean every coach would love to have friendly matches to test his team if they still have coordination and what it takes to win.
“But you know our problems we have on finances. In our plan we tried to ask for a friendly, but we didn’t get one.
“There is nothing we can do about it. Other teams had an opportunity to play friendly matches; it depends on your pocket.”
However, the former Flames skipper said the challenges he faced will not be an excuse in case of poor results.
“Sometimes you just have to find another way of achieving your goals,” he said.
The Flames are in Group H alongside Tunisia, Liberia, Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome & Principe and Namibia.
From Liberia, they will host Eagles of Carthage next Tuesday at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe.