Malawi Government has said it will consider FlamesÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ request for an earlier than April camp in China to enable the team prepare for next monthÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s 2013 Africa Cup of NationsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ second preliminary qualifier against ChadÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Sao.
The Flames are scheduled to face Chad in NÃ¢â‚¬â„¢djamena on February 29.
Flames coach Kinnah Phiri and battle-hardened forward Esau Kanyenda made the request at the weekend saying the China camping would be ideal preparations for the Chad game since there is no Fifa calendar date in between.
Youth Development and Sports Minister Symon Vuwa-Kaunda gave his word that the issue would be taken up with the Chinese Embassy.
Said the minister: “It is an issue that can be pursued with the Chinese Government since there is no realistic chance of playing an international friendly match in preparation for Chad.
“As government [we will meet] our Chinese counterparts to [map the way forward],” added Vuwa-Kaunda.
Kinnah appealed to the Chinese Embassy to fast track the camping period in order to tune up for Chad.
“I am very happy with the development [but] I would have loved if we played the match earlier, preferably during the last week of January or first week of February so that we use the match [against China] as preparation for Chad qualifier,” Kinnah said.
On his part, Kanyenda said having the camp and playing international friendly matches in April will not be of much help since the Flames would have already played against Chad.
“Shifting the camp to later this month or at least early next month would help us a lot,” Kanyenda said.
Chinese Ambassador Pan Hejun confirmed on Wednesday that his country will host the Flames as part of an exchange agreement which the two countries signed in 2010.
“In the framework of this agreement, we are going to promote culture, education and sports.
“So, this year we are going to invite Flames to visit China to play a friendly against our national team to enhance our relations,” said Hejun during the spring festival organised to celebrate the Chinese New Year.
China are ranked 71st on Fifa Coca Cola World RankingÃ¢â‚¬â€23 places above the Flames. They also qualified for the 2002 World Cup but did not go far in the competition.