The Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) has postponed the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers that were due in June due to COVID 19 challenges.
Flames were due to play Cameroon away and host Mozambique in group D of the qualifiers between 5 and 14 June.
The matches will now be played in September and the qualifiers which were due to end in November will be extended to March 2012.
“The CAF Emergency Committee, in consultation with FIFA, decided to postpone the CAF qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 that were due to be played in June 2021 after taking into consideration the current challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the need to ensure the optimal playing conditions for all participating teams.
“The qualifiers will now take place in the existing windows of September, October and November 2021, and March 2022. CAF is reassessing its protocols and processes to enhance the implementation of COVID-related protocols, including specifically focusing on pre-match testing which had been the source of some challenges in previous windows. Full details on the updated match schedule will be provided in due course,” reads a statement from CAF released this morning.
The development comes as a relief to Malawi as the Flames were on the verge of playing the home match against Mozambique outside the country following CAF’s blacklisting of Kamuzu Stadium as unfit to host international matches.
Football Association of Malawi and Malawi Government were working on convincing CAF to reconsider rescinding the decision as well certify Bingu National Stadium.
FAM General Secretary Alfred Gunda said the postponement of the matches gives FAM and government enough time to work on the shortfalls of the two stadiums and be certified in time for the Mozambique game.
“It is a blessing in disguise that the June matches have been shifted to September. We were working with government to explore the option of certifying BNS before the Mozambique game.
“But now we have enough time to work on the facilities without pressure and we will not relax because September is not far,” said Gunda.