* Against South Sudan away on March 24
* Against Uganda at Kamuzu Stadium on March 29
* Training starts on Thursday at Mpira Village
* The Flames are third in their group with four points
* Four behind leaders Burkina Faso; three behind 2nd-placed Uganda
By Duncan Mlanjira
Flames coach Meke Mwase has named a 29-man local based based players to go into camp on Tuesday in preparation for next month’s 2022 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifying matches against South Sudan and Uganda.
A statement from Football Association of Malawi (FAM), the team is expected to remain in camp until March 18, when Mwase will name the final squad for the two matches — against South Sudan away on March 24 and against Uganda at Kamuzu Stadium on March 29.
The two matches are a must win for the Flames must win if they are to qualify for the 2022 AFCON finals as they are third in the group with four points.
They are four points behind leaders Burkina Faso and three behind second-placed Uganda with South Sudan are bottom with three points.
Two top teams from the group will qualify for the 2022 AFCON finals to be held in Cameroun.
The players were expected to report for camp at the Mpira Village in Blantyre on Tuesday evening to undergo fitness and medical tests on Wednesday while training will start on Thursday.
Interesting aspect of the call-up is that TNM Super League rookies, Ekwendeni Hammers have contributed two players — defender Elick Kawonga and midfielder Patrick Banda while Ntopwa has one in midfielder Mphatso Magaleta.
Ekwendeni Hammers are currently on second place in the suspended TNM Super League tying on 19 points with leaders Silver Strikers but are separated by goal difference (the Bankers at 14 goals with the Hammers at 10.
Also of interest is the inclusion of midfielder, Mphatso Magaleta of Ntopwa FC, whose club was also doing well on the top flight table on position seven.
The local players are from nine clubs — Silver Strikers (6), Mighty Wanderers (7), Nyasa Big Bullets (6), MAFCO (2), Ekwendeni Hammers (2), Red Lions (2), Blue Eagles (1), Ntopwa FC (1) and and CIVO (1).
The full squad
Goalkeepers; Bright Munthali, Charles Thom (both Silver Strikers), William Thole (Mighty Wanderers), Ernest Kakhobwe (Nyasa Big Bullets), Jailosi Kapalamula (MAFCO)
Defenders; Stanley Sanudi, Peter Cholopi (both Mighty Wanderers), Precious Sambani, Nickson Nyasulu (both Nyasa Big Bullets), Paul Ndhlovu (MAFCO), Elick Kawonga (Ekwendeni Hammers), Mark Fodya (Silver Strikers)
Midfielders: Chimwemwe Idana, Chimango Kayira (both Nyasa Big Bullets), Chikoti Chirwa (Red Lions), Rafick Namwera, Felix Zulu, Vitumbiko Kumwenda (all Mighty Wanderers), Duncan Nyoni (Silver Strikers), Micium Mhone (Blue Eagles), Patrick Banda (Ekwendeni Hammers), Mphatso Magaleta (Ntopwa)
Strikers: Hassan Kajoke (Nyasa Big Bullets), Stain Davie, Maxwell Mpodo (both Silver Strikers), Loyo Bokosi (Red Lions), Vincent Nyangulu (Mighty Wanderers), Raphael Phiri (CIVO).