Bloemfontein Celtic has reportedly refused to release Malawi’s Frank ‘Gabadinho’ Mhango and Limbikani Mzava to this Sunday’s 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Benin.

This has forced the Football Association of Malawi (FAM) general secretary Suzgo Nyirenda to seek the intervention of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) which has since asked Celtic to release the duo even though the second round, first leg game does not fall on Fifa calendar of international events.

“We are also in talks with Safa in line with the letter we got from CAF. Celtic is just trying to be difficult because the season has not even kicked off in South Africa,” Nyirenda told the paper.

The Nation newspaper  reported on Wednesday that CAF deputy general secretary Esaam Ahmed had written the to Celtic over the matter. “We would appreciate cooperation so that your club can allow the liberation of players Limbikani Mzava and Frank Gabadinho Mhango so they are allowed to rejoin the team’s training camp,” reads a letter addressed to Celtic chief executive officer Khumbulani Conco.

“We realise that your club does not have any legal obligation to allow the named players to join their national team at that time, but we depend on your understanding so that the players can represent their country in this important occasion, considering that participation in these games, will allow a better visibility on continental level.”

The same newspaper quoted Celtic technical director Mich d’Avray as saying the would not release the players are preparing for MTN8 tournament to kick-off on August 2. Things are also not looking good for the Flames as University of Pretoria striker Atusaye Nyondo is also a doubt as his travel documents are with the Home Affairs Department in South Africa whereas Robert Ng’ambi is still injured and has been ruled out.

Ajax Cape Town striker Robin Ngalande and Black Leopards defender Harry Nyirenda have joined the squad which drew 0-0 in Uganda on Tuesday before proceeding to Benin.

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