By: Andrew Cane Chilapondwa
World Health Organization (WHO) and Confederation for African Football (CAF) have given Guinea the greenlight to host Malawi in the 2017 African Cup of Nations qualifier saying Conakry is safe from Ebola threats.
Last week, Aljazeera and BBC reported that Guinea had two new Ebola cases, a movie that forced Football Association of Malawi (FAM) to seek guidance as to whether the team was safe to travel to Guinea.
In their response, WHO and CAF said the cases in Nzerekore in the forest area do not pose a threat in hosting the match.
“Many thanks for your message! The cases are in Nzerekore in the forest area and do not pose a threat to holding the match in Conakry. There is no travel restriction to Conakry,” reads a message from Dr. Soce Fall, Director of Health Security and emergence at WHO regional office for Africa.
The match is scheduled to take place on Friday evening at 28 Septembre Stadium before the return leg on Tuesday next week at Kamuzu Stadium.
Tunisian referee Youssef Essrayri will take charge of the showdown.
The flames are currently in Sierra Leone, another Ebola hit country, for a friendly training match before departing for Guinea on Wednesday.
Both teams started their opening qualification matches on a very poor note, with Malawi losing 2-1 to Zimbabwe at home before being held to a 2-all draw away to Swaziland whilst Guinea lost 2-1 to Swaziland at home before playing to a 1-all draw away to Zimbabwe last year.
In other group L matches, leaders Swaziland will play host to Zimbabwe in the top of the table clash before a return leg over the weekend.
The winner in the group will automatically qualify for Gabon, with the best loser given a sigh of relief by making it to the finals too.