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Malawi CECAFA snub rumours quashed

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NAIROBI, Kenya, November 26- Contrary to earlier reports, Malawi will feature in the forthcoming CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup regional tourney that kicks-off in Tanzania on November 25.

Addressing the press in Nairobi on Wednesday, CECAFA General Secretary, Nicholas Musonye, quashed the reports stating, “I can confirm to you that I have held discussions with the country’s football president and they will be there next week.”

Musonye added that Malawi FA chief Walter Jamilando was in the country and met the regional body’s boss to deliver the assurances and discuss other logistics pertaining to the participation of one of the teams that has been invited from outside the East Africa region.

Local media quoting publications in Tanzania reported that Malawi FA chief executive, Suzgo Nyirenda had said The Flames would not honour the invitation.

“The invitation notice was short and the event requires our team to spend 8 million Kwacha and we would rather channel that money to our 2013 Nations Cup qualifier against Chad and the Worlds Cup campaign,” Nyirenda was cited saying.

The team’s head coach, Kinnah Phiri had been cited expressing his disappointment at missing the regional tournament saying, “We would have assessed locally based players in Cecafa ahead of the qualifiers, but there is little I can do now because Cecafa is also to blame for the late invitation,” he added.

Malawi have been drawn against Kenya, Eritrea and Sudan in a tough CECAFA pool and will play Harambee Stars again in the 2014 World Cup qualifier.

Harambee Stars coach, Francis Kimanzi, who shifted his focus on the regional jamboree after sealing his team’s place in the World Cup qualifiers, is relishing the opportunity of meeting The Flames whom they have been drawn against in Tanzania.

“It will be a good chance to test my team against a side we shall play in the World Cup qualifiers although both teams will not have their full teams. However, playing them will give us an idea of what to expect,” Kimanzi said on Tuesday.

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