Afcon Qualifier: Uganda and Malawi FA’s clash over Lwanga’s Covid-19 status



The dispute around the Crane has just emerged hours before the Group B rivals meet to decide who wins the remaining Cameroon slot

Federation of Uganda Football Associations and the Football Association of Malawi have clashed over Taddeo Lwanga’s coronavirus status ahead of a do-or-die Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.

Fufa has raised the concern after results from a local hospital showed the midfielder is Covid-19 positive, a result that Uganda have disputed and sought the intervention of Caf hours before the game kicks-off.
 
“We are aware of the irregularity raised by our medical team in regard to the Covid-19 tests of [Taddeo] Lwanga. Two tests have returned different results. We have written to Caf about this matter raising the concerns,” Fufa tweeted.

“Fufa has written and requested Caf to consider the results from the SADC accredited laboratory which is all under the same management as Queens Central Hospital.
 
“The boys have remained strong despite the issue at hand.”

Uganda are in Blantyre ahead of a decisive qualifier that has now been clouded by controversy around the midfielder’s health.

Unnamed Uganda official, quoted by Kawowo Sports, blasted the Caf appointed Covid-19 Officer Precious Kadzamira  as “incompetent, inexperienced, lacking integrity and has been telling lies about the process especially on the tests about Lwanga.”

The issue has been escalated by Fufa just after Caf deliberated on the same case that was raised by Al Merrikh against Simba SC. Lwanga’s club and Al Merrikh played a March 16 Caf Champions League tie where local tests in Dar es Salaam came out indicating that eight of Al Merrikh’s players had tested positive for the virus.

“As per the current rules and procedures, the FAQs for the return of football states that ‘The mandatory PCR test should be conducted no earlier than 48 hours before the match participants access the stadium’,” part of Caf’s judgement read.

“The tests conducted before the match are official, that is taken into consideration for the eligibility of the players. As you are aware, the results of the tests can vary from one day to the other.”

Lwanga played against Burkina Faso in a game that ended in a 0-0 draw thus making the Monday clash in Malawi a do-or-die showdown.

The controversy surrounding Lwanga could be a blow for the Abdallah Mubiru side who are without midfielder Khalid Aucho who was dismissed before the March qualifiers began.

Uganda’s squad is also depleted given that Timothy Awany, Patrick Kaddu, Fahad Bayo and Bevis Bwomono are not available due to various issues.

For Uganda to qualify for the Cameroon finals – which would be their third straight Afcon qualification – they need a point or a win.

The Flames, however, need a win in order to take the remaining slot from Group B. Malawi resuscitated their Afcon dream after beating South Sudan in the penultimate qualifier setting the stage for the decisive clash against the Cecafa giants and current champions at home.





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Lexie Ayers
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