The Malawi national football team the flames begin their campaign in the 2021 TotalEnergies African Cup of Nations this evening with a game against Guinea.
The flames who are in group B will battle it out with Guinea at Bafoussam Omnisport Stadium in Cameroon from 18:00 hours Central African Time.
Currently six key members of the squad have tested positive to Covid 19 and will not be involved in this evening encounter.
The six are striker Gabadinho Mhango, defenders Stanley Sanudi, Peter Cholopi, and Lawrence Chaziya, Midfielders Robin Ngalande and Chikoti Chirwa. Meanwhile left back Mark Fodya and midfielder Charles Petro who were left behind in Saudi Arabia due to Covid 19 will join the rest of the team later this afternoon after testing negative to the virus.
Interim coach Marian Mario Marinica, goalkeeper trainer Swadick Sanudi and physiotherapist Chikondi Mandalasi also tested positive to Covid 19 and flames assistant coach Meke Mwase will take charge of the match this evening.
According to CAF a team that does not have a minimum of 11 players available will be considered to have lost the match 2-0.
Meanwhile five flames players who were on standby namely goalkeeper Brighton Munthali, midfielder Gerald Phiri Jr, striker Stain Davie, defenders Dan Chimbalanga and Paul Ndlovu have been recalled to join the rest of the squad in Cameroon and are expected to leave the country this afternoon while Phiri has already left Sudan for Cameroon.
In other matches Senegal play against Zimbabwe from 15:00 hours, while Morocco battle it out with Ghana, Comoros will play against Gabon from 21:00 hours.