* From the 12 nations, only players from Comoros, Lesotho (2), Zambia (2) and one from Mauritius made it in the Group Stage Best XI
By Duncan Mlanjira
Flames, the only team of 12 nations that won all their three matches at the ongoing 2023 COSAFA Cup, have contributed five players in the Group Stage Best XI — and to be coached by none other than Malawian Patrick Mabedi himself.
The five include goalkeeper Brighton Munthali, who kept a clean sheet in all the three victories — 1-0 against defending champions Zambia; 2-0 against Seychelles and against 2-0 against Comoros.
The other four are defenders Alick Lungu (Man of Match against Zambia); Dennis Chembezi; and strikers Chawanangwa Kaonga (Man of Match against Seychelles) and Lanjesi Nkhoma.
From the 12 nations, only players from Comoros, Lesotho (2), Zambia (2) and one from Mauritius made it in the Group Stage Best XI.
In a 4-1-2-3 formation Lungu has picked as left back; Chembezi as left central back; Emmanuel Rudy Vincent Jean (Mauritius) as right central back and Thabang Malane (Lesotho) as right back.
Chawanangwa is given the right attacking midfielder role with Kelvin Kampamba (Zambia) on the left attacking midfielder and Kelvin Kapumbu (Zambia) as defending central midfielder.
Affane Said Djambae from Comoros is central forward with Neo Mokhachane of Lesotho as right forward.
Meanwhile, COSAFA has congratulated Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Walter Nyamilandu for being elected to the Confederation of African Football (CAF) executive member during elections held on Thursday in Benin during the 45th CAF Ordinary General Assembly.
Nyamilandu won an impressive 35 votes out of 54 votes — beating incumbent executive member Mohamed Ally Samir Sobha and from Mauritius (who earned 15) and Mokhosi Mohapi of Lesotho (3) in the three-horse race for the COSAFA slot.
Other members of the COSAFA region on the CAF Executive Committee are CAF 5th vice-president Kanizat Ibrahim from Comoros and Botswana Football Association president Maclean Letshwithi.
Samir Sobha has been a CAF executive member since 2019 and has headed the Mauritius Football Federation from 2014. On the other hand, Mohapi has been in football administration since 2000, first as an administration and facilities manager for Lesotho Football Association before rising to his current post of general secretary.
Nyamilandu first served as CAF executive member by virtue of being a FIFA Council member between 2019 and 2021 but he lost the position. He has served at top level in FIFA, CAF and COSAFA. CAF Executive Committee on Thursday.
He will continue to serve Malawi, COSAFA and CAF on a continental stage.