U-23 to feature at Cosafa tourney

Football Association of Malawi (FAM) says the Under-23 national team will feature at the 2019 Cosafa Cup slated for May 25 to June 8 in Durban, South Africa.

The development comes in the wake of the Flames elimination from the 2020 Championship of African Nations (Chan) by e-Swatini’s Sihlangu on away goal rule after settling for a one-all aggregate score.

In an interview, FAM president Walter Nyamilandu said the decision has been made by the executive committee.

“During this transition, the executive committee has directed that the Under-23 should participate at the forthcoming Cosafa tournament supplemented by core members of the senior national team.

Mwase (back to camera) and his backroom staff in the line of duty

“This has been done to ensure that the development agenda that we embarked on two years ago should not stall, but rather gather momentum so that we are well prepared for the [2022] World Cup preliminary match in August this year,” he said.

Nyamilandu said it has been noted that the team is going backwards, having made considerable strides in its rebuilding.

He said: “To that effect, a new call up will be announced in due course to prepare for the tournament.”

The FAM president also said Mwase and his backroom staff will remain in charge of the team until after the Cosafa Cup.

“Despite bowing out from the Chan tournament, the interim panel will still be in charge until they fulfil all their assignments for this period.

“In this vein, we will proceed with advertising the position of national coach in both local and international media next week so that we recruit a suitable coach by June,” said Nyamilandu.

Caretaker coach Meke Mwase and team manager James Sangala were not available for comment yesterday.

But Flames captain John ‘Kintu’ Lanjesi blamed the Flames’ poor showing on lack of commitment on the part of some players.

“As players, we are not giving our all. We need to look ourselves in the mirror and ask whether we really realise the importance of representing the nation.

“We should not just be satisfied with being called up or making appearances. We need to do more,” he said.

Lanjesi also apologised to the fans “for yet another disappointment”.

He said: “The authorities are trying their best to ensure that we are well prepared sand motivated, but on our part, we are not giving 100 percent effort.”

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