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Blow for Malawi as Banda is ruled out of Tanzania friendly

08:59 BST 09/06/2021
Malawi captain John Banda in action.
The Flames have confirmed their assistant captain will not be able to travel for the friendly against Taifa Stars on Sunday

Malawi midfielder John Banda has been ruled out of the team’s friendly match against Tanzania on Sunday.

The Flames have confirmed the unavailability of the player with only four days remaining before they face Taifa Stars at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium.

In a statement on their social media pages, the Flames have revealed coach Meck Mwase has allowed the midfielder, who features for Mozambican giants UD Songo, to represent his team for an upcoming league assignment.

What has been said?

“Flames vice-captain John Banda has been ruled out of Sunday’s international friendly against Tanzania,” read part of the statement.

“Mozambique-based Banda will not come for the match after coach Meck Mwase granted the player's club request to keep him for their League assignment this weekend.”

Despite missing Banda, the team received a huge boost on Monday as more professionals arrived in camp led by South Africa-based midfielder Gerald Phiri.

Phiri became the sixth from the contingent of players plying their trade abroad, after Peter Banda, Charles Petro, Khuda Muyaba, Dennis Chembezi, and Kieran Ngwenya, to join camp while Cyprus-based midfielder Tawonga Chimodzi is expected in camp on Wednesday alongside Phiri's Baroka FC teammate Richard Mbulu, captain Limbikani Mzava, and striker Gabadinho Mhango.

The Flames are expected to leave for Dar es Salaam on Friday.

Samatta and Msuva not in camp

Meanwhile, Tanzania international Mbwana Samatta is among the players who are yet to report to camp as the team started preparations to face Malawi.

The team under coach Kim Poulsen moved to camp on Monday, but the two players - Mbwana Samatta (Fenerbahce -Turkey) and attacking midfielder Simon Msuva (Wydad Casablanca - Morocco) – did not show up with Tanzania Football Federation Media and Communications Officer Clifford Ndimbo confirming they will join soon.

"So far so good, morale in the camp is high and players are looking forward to the match though we still don’t have [Samatta] and [Msuva] in camp,” Ndimbo told Goal on Tuesday.

“It is a very important game, which will help to give head coach Kim Poulsen a good balance prior to the upcoming World Cup qualifying matches.”

Apart from Samatta and Msuva, Poulsen also named Novatus Dismas of Maccabi Tel Aviv, Israel in the squad alongside seven players from the Simba SC squad that reached the quarter-finals of the Caf Champions League.