Malawi ready for CAF African Schools Football Championship challenge

Malawi will send Boys’ and Girls’ teams made up of the finest talent from the national phase of the CAF African Schools Football Championship qualifiers when they compete in the regional tournament in Harare, Zimbabwe from December 14-16.

A tweak in the regulations allows competing nations to send teams made up players from a collection of schools who excelled in the national finals, rather than the single schools that competed last year.

Malawi hosted the regional qualifier last year and Salima Secondary School made the final, where they lost 1-0 to South Africa’s Clapham High School.

In the Girls’ section, Malindi Secondary School looked odds on to also qualify for the continental finals, but an administrative error cost them a place. There was no denying their talent though.

Both were excellent sides and will be fascinating to see what teams made up of a selection of the best players can achieve.

The Boys’ team will be led by experienced coach Moses Chimbetete, while the Girls’ team will have former Malawi international striker Linda Kasenda in charge.

She is certainly no stranger to COSAFA competitions.
Among the boys, Chisomo Mdoka, James Lumbe, James Msongole and Ishumael Bwanali all played last year with Salima Secondary and will be back again.

Bwanali in fact took home the Golden Boot in 2022 after he scored five goals, including four in the semifinal win over IQRA School from the Comoros.

“The competition provides a very good platform for young players to showcase their football talent,” Football Association of Malawi (FAM) Director of Communications and Competitions Gomezgani Zakazaka said. “The youngsters will learn the importance of social coexistence through football by engaging with people from other parts of Africa.”

Malawi were excellent hosts of the inaugural CAF African Schools Football Championship | COSAFA Qualifier and FAM President Walter Nyamilandu said at the time that the competition will be a game-changer for the development of young players in the years to come.

“Schools football is back,” he said. “The CAF African Schools Championship heralds a new dawn for African football as it will bridge the gap of schools football. We are delighted to go back to our roots, where there is hidden talent.

“This project, which is based on the organization of football tournaments in schools, will accelerate growth and put in place structures at the youth level, with a particular focus on schools.”

The draw for the 10-team CAF African Schools Football Championship | COSAFA Qualifier will be made in Harare ahead of the tournament.