Moses Chavula takes the captaincy mantle





MZUZU--Like his namesake of the Old Testament days, Moses Chavula has found himself in Flames leadership position willy-nilly.

If Moses of yore didn’t find himself suitable to lead the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt into the Promised Land because he talked with a stammer, God Himself found him the ideal man for the job.

In the same way, Flames coach Kinnah Phiri has settled for diminutive, soft-spoken and humble left back Chavula to captain the side when they take on Chad in Ndjamena in the first leg of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers next Wednesday.

The Flames will be without South Africa-based captain Peter Mponda, who is nursing an injury, and Thailand-bound vice-captain Elvis Kafoteka.

Contrary to people’s expectations that midfield star Joseph Kamwendo, who captained the side during last year’s Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup in Tanzania would retain the role, Kinnah has bestowed the honour on the cool but hard-to-beat roving defender, who oftentimes also has a happy knack of scoring crucial goals when the going gets tough.

The coach says he has faith in Chavula’s qualities to handle the task and contribute positively to the game by influencing teammates because he has a strong character.

Moses has been the second vice-captain all along. I have faith in his qualities and I am sure that he will handle the task, Kinnah told a local daily, The Daily Times in an interview published on Friday.

The South Africa-based professional plies his trade with Amazulu in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) and is one of the few professionals who still enjoy game time at their respective clubs.

Kinnah has named 10 professionals in his squad which is expected to travel to Chad on Sunday albeit without playing even a single international strength-testing match. He was due to name eight local players to complete the Flames squad on Friday.

Meanwhile, the Football Association of Malawi (FAM) is expected to send an advance party of technical director Jack Chamangwana and accountant Christopher Mdolo to assess the facilities ahead of the match as a precaution to avoid last year’s scenario.

Chad gave the Flames contingent substandard accommodation and pitches for training to frustrate them psychologically.

Last time it worked [for them] as we failed to win and missed on the 2012 Afcon qualification, so we are not taking chances. The two will explore all accommodation and available pitches in Ndjamena and make recommendations where we should be accommodated, FAM executive officer Suzgo Nyirenda told another daily, The Nation.

Nyirenda also said they were still negotiating with Kenya Airways on the flight bookings after Ethiopian Airways cancelled their earlier booking as a result of delays in remitting payment.

On the other hand, there were revelations that Chad had not yet issued visas for the Flames to enter the country as of Thursday.

They’re yet to send us documents for visas. By CAF rules this is supposed to be done two weeks in advance. We also don’t have details of the itinerary, that’s why we are sending an advance party because we don’t want to be taken unawares, Nyirenda said.

As of Friday afternoon, there was no news of government releasing funding for the Flames trip to Chad, although Alex Mseka, principal secretary in the Ministry of Youth Development and Welfare, which is also responsible for sports, said there was no need to panic as the funds would be released before this Saturday.
©2012 The Maravi Post. Reproduction authorised, with usual acknowledgment

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