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Flames drawn against Senegal, Guinea and fellow COSAFA side Zimbabwe for the 2022 AFCON | Malawi Nyasa Times

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Malawi national football team, the Flames have been drawn in Group of the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) alongside Senegal, Guinea and fellow Confederation of Southern African Football Association (COSAFA) member Zimbabwe.

The draw was held at a star-studded gala on Tuesday evening in Yaoundé, the AFCON host country Cameroun — who have been drawn in Group A alongside Burkina Faso, Ethiopia and Cape Verde.

Group C has north African giants Morocco alongside Ghana, Comoros and Gabon while the Super Eagles of Nigeria are in Group D with AFCON seven-time champions Egypt alongside Sudan and Guinea-Bissau.

Algeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Sierra-Leone and Equatorial Guinea are in Group E while Tunisia, Mali, Mauritania and Gambia are in Group F.

The hosts, Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions — who are five-time tournament champs, will host Burkina Faso in Group A opener in Yaoundé on January 9.

Five main cities were selected as hosts of the tournament — Douala at Japoma Stadium; Yaoundé at Ahmadou Ahidjo and Olembé Stadiums; Bafoussam at Kouekong Stadium; Garoua at Roumdé-Adjia Stadium and Limbe-Buea venue which houses the Limbe Omnisport Stadium.

Road to final shall be the group stage from January 9 to 20 followed by Round of 16 from January 23-26 and quarter-finals on January 29 and 30.

The semi-finals are scheduled for February 2 and 3 while the third place match and the final are set for February 6.

The draw, graced by Confederation of African Football (CAF) president, Patrice Motsepe together with Cameroon’s Minister of Sports, Narcisse Mouelle Kombi, was attended by many stars past and present.

Also present was Flames’ head coach Meck Mwase, who before departure said knowing his opponents will help his technical panel to start earnest preparations for the AFCON as it will guide them on which type of players to should select and teams to engage for friendly matches as well as camping destinations.

“In football there are never easy draws and we will welcome whatever teams will be paired against,” he had told Fam.mw.

During the 2022 COSAFA Cup, the Flames drew 2-2 in the group stages and lost 1-2 to Senegal— who were guest team at this southern African regional tournament.

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