The Malawi National Beach Soccer team Coach Willy Kumilambe says the withdraw of Nigeria from group A of the 2022 Beach Soccer Afcon finals will make the group more competitive.
CAF has announced that Nigeria will not take part in the tournament which will take place from October 21-28 in Mozambique’s City of Vilankulo.
This has left Malawi, hosts Mozambique and Morocco as the only three teams in the group with CAF saying Nigeria will not be replaced.
“As per the regulations, if a team withdraws before the start of the competition, the team against which the team in question has played in the qualifiers should be qualified. However, since this team is Libya, who have also withdrawn from the qualifiers, group A will consist of three teams only (Mozambique, Malawi & Morocco) and group B which has defending champions Senegal, Uganda, Madagascar, and Egypt. will not change,” reads a communication from CAF.
Kumilambe said now that the team will play two games instead of three it may have an impact on their chances of making it to the semifinals
“This is a surprise to us and also unfortunate because we were preparing to play more games. Apart from us teams the organizers and fans will also be affected as number of matches have been reduced.
“As for chances of qualifying for the Semifinals, it is going to be tough because we are going to be rated after playing two games while the other groups will be rated after three games. However, we will work hard and plan well to collect results in the two matches so that we make it to the knockout stages.
According to Kumilambe, his technical panel has assembled a very good team and their camp training is going on well in Salima ahead of the tournament.
Kumilambe is expected to name the final squad for the tournament by the end of this week.