It does not rain but pours for Muhamad Sulumba. Days after South African club Jomo Cosmos failed to register him for the Premier Soccer League (PSL), his availability for Flames’ 2017 Africa Cup of Nations’ qualifier against Swaziland’s Sihlangu Semnikati this Sunday is doubtful due to passport hitches.
The burly forward’s passport is held up at South Africa’s Home Affairs office in Pretoria where his work permit is being processed. However, Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has since sought intervention from the Malawian Embassy in South Africa.
“We have left the issue in the hands of our embassy in South Africa, but it is very unlikely that Sulumba will travel to Swaziland for the match,” said FAM general secretary Suzgo Nyirenda on Wednesday.
The FAM GS said even if they would obtain a temporary travel document for the player, he can still not be available for selection as the rules for the tournament require that a player should have a passport.
However, Cosmos’ local-based agent Ben Chiwaya yesterday said Sulumba would not have found himself in such a predicament had he taken heed of the advice he was given by the club.
“What happened was that Both Sulumba and Micium Mhone were asked to travel to Pretoria to collect their passports from the Home Affairs Office today [yesterday].
“But while Mhone took heed of the advice, Sulumba ignored the advice and insisted on travelling to Mpumalanga on Tuesday,” said Chiwaya.
Reacting to the development, Flames coach Ernest Mtawali said: “It will be a setback if he doesn’t make it, but we have faith in all the players that we have selected for this match.”
Meanwhilwe Mhone will feature for the Flames after collecting his passport yesterday. Mhone joined the Flames in Mpumalanga Province later in the evening, virtually completing the squad for Sunday’s encounter.