Malawi is expected to slug it out against Benin in Cotonou for Morocco 2015 Africa Cup of Nations preliminary round qualifiers this weekend.
The players at the centre of the latest, ‘club versus country row’ are defender Limbikani Mzava and striker Gabadihno Mhango.
The dual were supposed to leave South Africa Monday morning to link up with the rest of team in Uganda.
Malawi FA chief executive, Suzgo Nyirenda said Mhango and Mzava were barred by their club from fulfilling their national team assignment.
“When I got in touch with them they informed me that they had been instructed not to proceed with the trip instead report at their club’s offices,” Nyirenda told The Nation Online Tuesday.
However, Nyirenda argued that the South African club needed to respect Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) decision on the basis that it was the one that came with the fixture and its affiliation to FIFA.
“Apparently, we hear the club’s CEO Khumbulani Konco has refused to release the players, including those from Botswana, but our argument is that these dates were fixed by CAF which is an affiliate of FIFA,” explained Nyirenda.
Following the latest development, Malawi FA has filed a complaint with the world soccer governing body FIFA against the South African club conduct on the issue.
Nyirenda further disclosed that the local FA has also sought the assistance of former Malawi captain and now a member of Celtic technical staff, John Maduka to plead with the club CEO.
“Maduka has assured us that he will engage Konco on the issue, but the problem now is that even if they are released, they could miss Uganda’s match which will have a negative effect on our preparations,” Nyirenda lamented.
The Flames is currently in Uganda en-route to Benin where it was scheduled to play a strength testing match against Uganda Cranes Tuesday.
As this is not enough, the Flames have further been dealt another body blow following the unavailability of its two other key players.
Defender Harry Nyirenda who turns for Black Leopards FC and striker Atusaye Nyondo who has just signed for Pretoria University FC are also major doubts for the friendly and the actual AFCON qualifiers encounter against Benin.
Nyirenda is reportedly to have gone to another province when message seeking his services reached his club’s base while Nyondo is processing his work permit.