By Ronald Mpaso:
Kenya is well-known the world over for its impressive tourism industry, with visitors being warmly welcomed to the East African nation.
The Kenyans do everything to make you feel at home by uttering Swahili words ‘Jambo bwana’ (hello sir).
Malawi national football team is in that country, having arrived Monday for a friendly against the Harambee Stars.
The Flames must have been accorded such salutation upon arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi.
But things are bound to change this afternoon when Malawi take on Kenya at the Moi International Sports Stadium in the country’s capital.
Being an away fixture for the Flames, the stadium will certainly be a hostile territory for them as Kenya will live to the true meaning of ‘Harambee’ (all pulling together).
The two teams will be going into the match with contrasting fortunes.
The Flames are smarting from an embarrassing 3-0 loss to Morocco in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers while their opponents’ morale is sky-high after their 1-0 win over continental giants Ghana in the same competition.
Malawi are also unlikely to have a full house as first choice goalkeeper Charles Swini and defender Dennis Chembezi were yet to be declared fit for action after sustaining injuries during the Morocco match.
Right-back Stanley Sanudi was also being assessed as he suffered a knock while facing the North Africans on Saturday night.
Team Manager, James Sangala, said doctors had not yet given Coach, Ronny van Geneugden, the all-clear to use the three players by late afternoon Monday.
“There is a big question on Swini and Chembezi and a small one on Sanudi. But the doctors are still working on their condition and we are only hoping for positive results,” Sangala said Monday.
Geneugden picked just two goalkeepers for the trip and the absence of Swini would give a chance to Brighton Munthali.
This would leave the team with no substitute goalkeeper and the Belgian may be forced to use goalkeeper trainer Swadick Sanudi for the position.
In another development, the Malawi women’s national football team left Monday for this year’s Cosafa Championship in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
The She-Flames will play their first match Wednesday against Botswana as they hope to leave a mark on the regional tournament. The team exited last year’s competition in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, in the group stages.