The Malawi national football team yesterday got a timely boost ahead of their Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals second match on Friday following the arrival of two defenders Charles Petro and Yamikani Fodya who were stuck in Saudi Arabia after testing positive for Covid-19.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) competitions and communications director Gomezgani Zakazaka said the players joined the squad at Valle de Bana Hotel in Cameroon yesterday morning.
Fodya (R) and Petro joined the Flames squad yesterday
The other five reserve players Gerald Phiri Jnr, Paul Ndlovu, Stain Davie, Dan Chimbalanga and goalkeeper Brighton Munthali were also expected to arrive yesterday evening.
Meanwhile, Zakazaka said all the players will undergo the mandatory Covid-19 test today, 48 hours before the match against Zimbabwe on Friday.
He said: “From that test we will know which players are eligible for the match againast Zimbabwe.”
Malawi played their first match against Guinea which they lost 1-0 without defender Stanley Sanudi, midfielders Robin Ngalande, Chikoti Chirwa and Charles Petro and striker Frank ‘Gabadinho’ Mhango as well as head of technical panel Mario Marian Marinica who are in isolation after testing positive.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe have also been boosted by the arrival of their star Jordan Zemura, who also missed the opening match which The Warriors lost 1-0 to Senegal, due to a Covid-19 outbreak at his English club Bournemouth.
The player said he was looking forwad to face Malawi and Guinea.
“Can’t wait to join the boys and represent Zimbabwe. Two important games to get out the group and everything is possible,” tweeted Zemura, who was expected to arrive last evening.
Zimbabwe coach Norman Mapeza told Zimbabwe’s The Herald that they are now geared for the Malawi match.
“Tournament football needs goals and we have to work very hard to score as we look to our next match against Malawi,” he said.