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Baroka’s Mbulu cleared for Guinea tie

Baroka forward Richard Mbulu has been cleared for selection in Malawi’s opening 2021 Africa Cup of Nations tie against Guinea on Monday after re-testing negative for Covid-19.

Mbulu, together with midfielder Charles Petro and left-back Mark Fodya, remained behind in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where the Flames camped for 10 days after testing positive for Covid-19.

However, the Flames will still be without Petro and Fodya, who remained in isolation as the Baroka striker left for Cameroon on Saturday. 

Football Association of Malawi (FAM) spokesperson Gomezgani Zakazaka confirmed the development.

“As for Petro and Fodya, they will have re-tests on Saturday and can only travel on Monday if they are cleared, and this means they are out of the Guinea match,” he said.

Flames interim coach Marian Mario Marinica welcomed the news saying his availability was a boost, although he has not trained for 10 days. 

“It’s good news that Mbulu has been cleared. It will be a boost for the squad. He hasn’t trained for a while, about 10 days, but it’s good that he is available.

“However, it is a setback that Petro and Fodya haven’t been cleared. Fodya is a left-back, and we do not have another left-back. The country is short of good left-backs.

“On the other hand, Petro is a proven campaigner and one of the important players, and we have to assess and readjust in his absence.”

After facing Guinea on Monday, the Flames take on Zimbabwe on Friday before clashing with Senegal four days later.

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