Veteran Malawian footballer Chikondi Banda dies

MALAWI FOOTBALL:  A dark cloud has fallen the football fraternity following the death of one the country’s best attacking midfielders Chikondi Dr. Banda. The former Malawi national team and Bullets star died on Thursday morning at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital after complaining of headache on Tuesday.

Banda, who formed one of lethal attacking quartet at Bullets with Andrew Aluki Chikhosi, Muzipansi Mwangonde and James Chimera Junior in the late 90s early 2000, will be buried today in Lilongwe.

Tributes continued pouring in for the midfielder whose dexterity in ball distribution in central turf made Bullets a formidable side in the era the People’s Team won the Super League six consecutive time.

Fam general secretary Suzgo Nyirenda said the local soccer fraternity had lost one of the best attacking midfielders to have ever graced the local game.

“We are at pains to deal with the reality of the demise of Chikondi Banda who during his hey playing days was an idol and inspired a lot of young players many of whom are now top players for the national team and Super league teams,” he said.

Bullets General Secretary Higger Mkandawire described the death of Banda as a shock.

“As Bullets, we are deeply shocked with the death of one of our stars Chikondi Banda. The country has lost one of the best players,” Mkandawire said.

His former teammate Peter Mponda said he was yet to come to terms with the death of his friend.

“I am still in shock. I can’t believe it,” he said.

Former Players Association of Malawi president Ojukwu Malunga described Banda’s death as untimely.

“Imagine this is coming just after the players was seriously thinking of making a comeback into the Super League,” Malunga said.

Banda started his career at Civo before joining Bullets FC during the 1995/ 1996 season alongside his best friend Andrew Chikhosi. He left Bullets alongside Chikhosi in 2001 to join Bullets Rivals, Wanderers only to return to Bullets in 2003.

His Super League career ended at Michiru Castles before he joined lower league side Nyasa United.

On the international scene, Banda played for the Under 20 team that participated at the maiden Cosafa Under 20 in Botswana in 1997 also qualifying Under 20 Youth Championship in Ghana.

At senior level he made his debut in 1998 alongside a core of players that were promoted from the 1997 Cosafa Under 20 his main highlight for the Flames was a man of the match display when Malawi beat Mozambique 2-1 in the preliminary round of the 2000 Cosafa Cup.

Banda, who was born in 1979 is survived by three children.

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