Peter Fote in Duala, Cameroon
Malawi national football team, the Flames, have been dealt a blow ahead of their match against Guinea after 6 players and three officials tested positive for Covid-19.
Malawi Football Association confirmed the latest development in a statement to the press.
“The Football Association of Malawi would like to announce that as per the CAF AFCON pre-match protocols the Flames players and officials underwent a Covid-19 PCR test on Saturday afternoon, 48 hours before the team’s opening match against Guinea on Monday.
“Unfortunately, six players and three technical staff tested positive and will miss the Monday match.
“The players are defenders Peter Cholopi, Lawrence Chaziya, Stanley Sanudi; midfielders Chikoti Chirwa and Robin Ngalande and striker Gabadinho Mhango.
“The officials are Head of Technical Panel Mario Marinica, Goalkeeper Trainer Swadick Sanudi and Physiotherapist Chikondi Mandalasi.
“The nine are in isolation under the supervision of the team’s Covid-19 medical team led by Dr. Precious Kadzamira,” said MFA in a statement.
Meanwhile, striker Richard Mbulu is expected to join the team later today in Cameroon and will be ready for selection on Monday, according to officials.
Defender Mark Fodya has also tested negative and will join the squad in Cameroon on Monday while midfielder Charles Petrol remains in Saudi Arabia as he is still positive.
Fam Head of Delegation Tiya Somba Banda has downplayed the situation, saying players who are in camp will do the job.
On the other hand, the Flames’ opponents for their last Group Match, Senegal, have nine players ruled out, including goalkeeper Edward Mendy due to Covid-19.