The Flames’ first group has safely arrived in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia ahead of a 10 -day pre-Afcon training camp.
The group comprising of 14 players and nine officials arrived via Dubai on Friday afternoon and are lodging at Iridium hotel.
However, goalkeeper William Thole was left behind with team manager Clement Kafwafwa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia after testing positive to COVID-19.
Leader of delegation and FAM Executive Committee member Chimango Munthali said the team underwent COVID 19 PCR and Rapid tests at Bole International Airport on Thursday as part of new Covid 19 protocols for Dubai where the team passed through.
“Unfortunately, some of members of our delegation came out positive and have been Isolated in Addis Ababa. Once they are cleared, they will join us in Saudi Arabia. But all in all, we have travelled well and have been warmly welcomed by our hosts and we look forward to a fruitful training camp,” said Munthali, who is also FAM COVID-19 Task Force Chairperson.
The second group comprising of six players, including goalkeeper Brighton Munthali who was on standby, and three officials left Blantyre on Friday afternoon and is expected to arrive in Saudi Arabia on Saturday morning.
Meanwhile four players have been left behind in Blantyre after testing positive to Covid 19. These include defenders Gomezgani Chirwa and Sankhani Mkandawire as well midfielders Chimwemwe Idana and Charles Petro
“All the COVID 19 positive players are in isolation and they are all asymptomatic, being managed by our COVID 19 Medical Specialist Dr Kadzamira. They will re-test in a few days and will join us either here in Saudi Arabia or Cameroun if cleared in good time before the technical panel submit the final list for the AFCON to CAF by 30th December.
“Goalkeeper Brighton Munthali has travelled with the second group and this shows that the players on standby are still part of the team and will be called where necessary,’ said Munthali.
The team will have its first training session at 8:30 am on Saturday morning.
The Flames are preparing for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations to take place in Cameroun between January 9- February 6. Malawi are group B alongside Guinea, Zimbabwe and Senegal.