Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has pulled out of TotalEnergies Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) due to lack of funds.
FAM president Walter Nyamilandu confirmed the development in an interview yesterday.
The development means Malawi will also not take part in the Paris Olympics in 2024 since the Under-23 Afcon will serve as a qualifying tournament to the summer games.
Nyamilandu said: “We are not participating in the U23 Olympics due to lack of funding. Sports Council allocation of K200 million was exhausted during the Afcon qualifiers against Ethiopia and Guinea.
“At the moment, we have depleted all our reserves by participating in Cosafa and Afcon Beach Soccer. We are still spending beyond our means by preparing for and Cosafa Women’s Championship. We had to make a tough decision to withdraw from the Under-23 Olympics.”
Ironically, the Under-23 national football team in March toured Turkey in preparation for the Under-23 Afcon and Olympic qualifiers.
But following the decision, the team will be idle.
Soccer analyst Charles Nyirenda described the decision to pull out of the competition as a blow.
He said: “We have a good Under-23 national team which could have done well in the qualifiers. This [will affect plans] to develop talent for the Flames.”
The draw for the qualifiers of the TotalEnergies Under-23 Afcon will take place on Thursday in Cairo.
Thirty-nine member associations will take part in the qualifiers.
Morocco are automatically qualified as hosts for the final tournament. The remaining 38 teams will play the qualifiers.
Libya, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Niger, Togo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique and Namibia will take part in the first round.
Egypt, Tunisia, Guinea, Mali, Senegal, Searra Leone, Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Sudan, Uganda, Cameroon, Congo, Gabon, South Africa and Zambia will be seeded.