The draw for the 2018 Cosafa Cup will be held on Wednesday in South Africa when Malawi’s Flames will know which teams they will be paired against.
All 14 members of Council for Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) have confirmed participation in this year’s competition to be held in Limpopo province from May 27 to June 9.
Cosafa deputy chief executive officer Suzgo Nyirenda, who is responsible for competitions, said the format of the competition will be the same as last year.
“Eight sides to contest the first-round pool stage, and the top six seeds, according to the Cosafa rankings, to enter the competition in the knockout rounds.
“Defending champions Zimbabwe head the seedings list, along with Zambia, Lesotho, South Africa, Namibia and Swaziland. These sides will start their campaigns in the quarter-finals.”
The next four highest seeds—Botswana, Madagascar, Angola and Mozambique—will be in Pot 1 for the first-round draw, while Mauritius, Malawi, Seychelles and the Comoros Islands will occupy Pot 2.
The top two teams in the pool stage will join the six top seeds to make up the eight quarter-finalists.
Meanwhile, Flames coach Ronny Van Geneugden has said the Flames will regroup for a pre-camp at the end of this month, before the main camp next month.
The Belgian coach said he would love to have a full squad for the Cosafa Cup as he returns to the regional competition for the second time.
“Unfortunately, the tournament is not on Fifa calendar dates, so we will see which foreign-based players will be available,” he said.
Last year, Malawi never went past the group stage, after a loss to Tanzania and two draws against Mauritius and Angola.