Nine members of Malawi contingent have tested positive to Coronavirus in Yaounde, 48 hours before the team's opener against Guinea on Monday.
This was after the Flames players and officials underwent mandatory PCR tests on Saturday.
The affected players are defenders, Peter Cholopi, Lawrence Chaziya, Stanley Sanudi; midfielders Chikoti Chirwa and Robin Ngalande and striker Gabadinho Mhango.
The officials are Head of Technical Panel Mario Marinica, Goalkeeper Trainer Swadick Sanudi and Physiotherapist Chikondi Mandalasi.
In a statement, the Football Association of Malawi said six players and three technical staff will miss the opening match.
''Unfortunately, nine members of the Flames squad, which include six players and three officials have tested positive to Covid-19 have to go into isolation and are therefore going to automatically miss the first encounter,'' reads in part the statement.
According to FAM, the nine are in isolation under the supervision of the team's Covid-19 medical team led by Dr. Precious Kadzamira.
Head of delegation Tiya Somba Banda said: “It’s a difficult situation that we will not have the players and some of the technical staff for the opening match.
“Our medical team is managing the situation to ensure that the players and the officials recover as soon as possible.”
However, the good news, according to Somba, is that Flames gangling lanky forward, Richard Mbulu will join us on Sunday and will be available for selection and the technical panel has already put a plan accordingly for the Guinea match with Liverpool’s nimble-footed attacking midfielder, Naby Keita leading the charges.
“The Flames will have another test on Wednesday January 12, 2022 and we hope by then the nine would have recovered and cleared for the next match against the warriors of Zimbabwe.”
Meanwhile, in Saudi Arabia, Mark Fodya has tested negative for COVID-19 while Charles Petro is still positive.
Fodya is expected to leave Saudi Arabia on Sunday evening and join the team in Cameroon on Monday afternoon.
Petro will remain in isolation in Jeddah and have another test on Monday.