Chawinga, Chisomo to miss out on Malawi’s COSAFA knockout campaign

Malawi national women’s team will be without its two foreign-based players for the entirety of the COSAFA Women’s Championship slated for Zimbabwe from September 13-24, if they make it past the group stage.

Sweden’s Damallsvenskan top scorer Tabitha Chawing,31, who plies her trade for 10th-placed Kvarnsvedens IK and Chisomo Kazisonga, 32, from Austrian side Altera Porta club, may have their tournament run cut short due to club commitments.

Malawi’s Women’s league president Siveria Chalira confirmed the development as the pair didn’t join the squad in camp ahead of the finals.

“Their teams only allowed them for a specific period. Tabitha is even wanted back (on the) 17 before the tournament ends,” Chalira said.

However, it has been confirmed that Tabitha’s sister Temwa, also a striker, will be available for the rest of the tournament.

Chisomo Kazisonga embracing club teammate. Credit: Facebook

The team currently led by coach Stuart Mbolembole arrived Buluwayo on Sunday, September 10, with their nation’s legend, Maggie Chombo Sadick as assistant coach and former Nyasa Big Bullets top striker Andrew Chikhosi, as deputy assistant coach.

With 20 players making the final squad list, six feature for DD Sunshine club, five from Blantyre Zero and four from Skippers FC. Three are pooled from Ntopwa Super Queens, CY Sisters and Moyale Women’s FC.

Having reached the semifinals in 2011 after being ousted by eventual runners-up South Africa, Malawi have been drawn in Group A alongside successive hosts Zimbabwe, Zambia and Madagascar.

Malawi will open their campaign against Zambia (September 13), before clashes with Madagascar (September 15) and Zimbabwe (September 17). All of these matches will be played at the Barbourfields Stadium.

The top team in each pool advances to the semifinals, along with the best second-placed side.

FULL SQUAD
Goalkeepers: Memory Gama (Skippers FC), Martha Banda (Blantyre Zero)
Defenders: Chisomo Kazisonga (Altera Porta, Austria), Emily Jossam, Fatsireni Kazembe (both Skippers FC), Patricia Nyirenda (Ntopwa Super Queens), Chimwemwe Madise, Ruth Nyirongo, Wezzie Mvula (all DD Sunshine)
Midfielders: Madidna Nguluwe, Eluby Bottoman, Sabinnah Thom (all DD Sunshine), Chikondi Gondwe (CY Sisters), Pilirani Malora, Lucy Chiumia (both Blantyre Zero), Shira Dimba (Skippers FC)
Strikers: Tabitha Chawinga (Knarsveden IK, Sweden), Temwa Chawinga, Mary Chavinda (both Blantyre Zero), Rachael Mwale (Moyale Women’s FC)

Culled from Nyasa Times.

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