Malawi Flames will face the reigning African champions Zambia on July 6 at Kamuzu stadium in Blantyre after President Joyce Banda’s approval.

There were doubts that the match would not take place on the Independence day as the government has decided that there will not be independence celebrations this year as a cost cutting measure.

However, the President has sanctioned the match according to Sports minister Enoch Chihana.

Said Chihana: “I took up the matter with Her Excellency and it pleased her that the match should be part of the of the Independence. So, if Zambia have not changed their programme then the match is definately on.”

Flames coach Kinnah Phiri and Football Association of Malawi-FAM officials hailed the President and the minister saying the match will play a crucial role in helping the Flames to prepare for the final 2013 Africa cup of nation’s qualifiers coming up in September and 2014 World Cup qualifiers.

Said FAM president Walter Nyamilandu:”The match will definately give the coach panel a chance to assess potential local talent. it also keeps us to be active every month until September when we are supposed to play the Afcon final round of qualification.”

He also told the Nation Sport that FAM is in the process of confirming the match and travel arrangements with their Zambian counterpart (Football Association of Zambia).

The FAM president also said the Flames are most likely to gointo camp on Sunday to prepare for the match.

On his part , Kinnah said : The development comes as a relief because Zambia are the reigning African champions and the match will definately help us prepare for the final round of the 2013 Afcon qualifiers in which we expect to be drawn against a continental giant.”

The African champions have named a 26-member suad that is expected to go into camp in Lusaka on July 2 to start preparations for the game.

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