Following a draw for 2022 Qatar World Cup preliminary round qualifiers held in Cairo, Egypt on July 29, which saw the Flames being paired against the Zebras of Botswana, renowned soccer commentator, Higgar Mkandawire, has warned the Flames not to undermine their opponent.
Currently, Malawi National Team is ranked on 126 on the FIFA rankings while Botswana is ranked on 147 and the first leg between the two sides is scheduled to take place within eight days from September 2 to 10 this year in Botswana.
Nkandawire said, despite the Flames currently enjoying a good form, following their superb performance which the team displayed during the 2019 COSAFA Cup tournament in South Africa, there is a great need for thorough preparations.
Nkandawire said: “Despite Malawi being ranked higher on the FIFA ranking than Botswana but let me urge our football governing body and the Flames panel to intensify their preparations because they must look the dynamic which is happening in football phenomenon where most of the teams that are considered to be the underdogs are beating the so called giants, so on paper we can say Malawi is good but on the ground anything can happen.”
He further advised the team to prepare for hot conditions when they travel to Botswana which is located in the desert region of high temperatures.
Since 1968, the two sides have met 21 times where by Malawi has won 13 games, drawn five times and lost four times.
The two sides last met in 2018 at the Cosafa Cup in a match that ended one-all after the Zebraz came from behind to cancel Precious Sambani’s goal.
The 2022 Qatar FIFA World Cup is scheduled to be the 22nd edition of the FIFA World Cup and is scheduled to take place from November 21 to December 18 with 32 teams expected to take part.