Flames to face Madagascar in Chan

Written by  Yamikani Simutowe

Malawi national football team, widely known as the Flames, will kick-start their 2018 Championship of African Nations (Chan) campaign against Madagascar.


Malawi will start away on the weekend of April 20-22 while the second leg is slated for a week later during the weekend of April 28-30.


The winner between the two teams will face Mozambique’s Mambas in July.
Should the Flames beat go past both Madagascar and Mozambique they will face winners between Mauritius/Seychelles and Angola’s Negras Palancas in the final round.


Chan is a tournament specifically for local-based players which was introduced by CAF as one way of promoting local talent.


Football Association of Malawi (FAM) general secretary Alfred Gunda described it as a fair draw.

“There are no easy draws but I can say it is fair. We will soon sit down to strategise on preparations. We are also hoping to have a coach in place by February end,” he said.

Meanwhile, Fam has said the Flames will require additional K280 million to fulfil its upcoming assignments (both Chan and Afcon qualifiers matches).

This additional budget include international friendly matches.


The Flames will start their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualification campaign by hosting winners between Comoros and Mauritius on June 13.


According to the fixture released by the Confederation of African Football (CAF), the Flames’ next match will be against the Atlas Lions of Morocco on March 27 next year before hosting the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon on September 3 with the return leg slated for a week later.


Flames captain Limbikani Mzava said playing the first match at home puts Malawi at an advantage.

“Starting the campaign at home gives us a boost, but it will not be an easy match because there are no longer small teams these days.


“So while Comoros and Mauritius might be considered as minnows, it will not be easy for us,” he said.

Mzava also reiterated on the need to start preparations in good time.

Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Walter Nyamilandu said a flying start will be crucial.


“It, therefore, augers well to start the first fixture at home. This will be a must win match,” he said.


Only table toppers, the host and three best second placed sides will make the finals in Cameroon.


By virtue of being the hosts, Cameroon automatically qualify for the tournament and in the event that they top Group B, the runner-up will qualify.

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