The draw for the 2018 African Nations Championship (Chan) qualifiers will be held in Cairo, Egypt, on April 9 2017.
According to a communiqué from Confederation of African Football (CAF), 44 member nations will enter the qualifying rounds and will be split into zones, corresponding to their regional affiliations.
Malawi is expected to be paired against other Confederation of Southern Africa Football Association (Cosafa) members in the battle for the regions’ three slots.
However, Angola, South Africa and Zimbabwe will be seeded during the draw.
In North Zone, Egypt will contest for one of two qualification slots in CAF’s Northern zone. The other countries in this zone are Algeria, Morocco, Libya and Tunisia.
In West Zone A, Mali and Senegal are seeded while the other members start the race in the preliminary stage in the fight for two slots.
Ghana is seeded from preliminary round in West Zone B, which has three slots while Central Zone has DR Congo seeded, will also see three teams qualifying.
In Central-East Zone, Kenya qualified automatically for the final tournament as hosts while Sudan play in the first round.
The qualifiers will begin in April and end in August, 2017.
Preliminary round will be played in April while first round start in July.
The third and last round of the qualification will be played in August.
Meanwhile, Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has started preparations for the competition for national league players.
FAM general secretary Alfred Gunda said since the qualifiers will be played before the next financial year, they have submitted a proposal for extra funds.
“Since we already exhausted our allocation, we need extra funds,” he said.
FAM was allocated K32 million in 2016/2017 financial year which was already spent on Flames botched Gabon Africa Cup of Nations campaign. n