Cosafa has announced that the draw for the revived Cosafa Castle Senior Challenge will be held in Zambia on May 3.
The body’s chief operating officer Sue Destombes made the announcement following a recent visit by a Cosafa delegation to Zambia.
She headed an entourage that went to inspect facilities in the prospective host country and said preparations for the regional tournament are well on track.
Zambia will host the regional football championship from July 6-21 after a three-year break.
During the trip, the Cosafa delegation held a meeting with the country’s football officials before inspecting venues such as the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola, Nkana Stadium and Arthur Davies Stadium in Kitwe.
Sunset Stadium in Lusaka failed to make the grade as it does not meet the minimum standards set by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to host continental games.
The Cosafa team also checked the status of hotels, including Savoy, Mukuba, Gonde Lodges, Moba and Michelangelo to decide which venues might accommodate teams during the regional tournament.
“Generally, we were satisfied with the facilities and the pace of the preparations. However, we noted that the stadium in Kabwe must be refurbished so that it meets international standards.
“We made recommendations to the people responsible for that stadium as well as the Zambian government and I am confident that appropriate action will be taken,” said Destombes.
Flames may be exempted from the preliminary round draw if they maintain their sixth position on the Fifa rankings as the top-six teams at the time of the draw will qualify for knockout stages.
Malawi are currently on position 111 in the world and in the Cosafa bloc are behind Zambia (36 in the world), South Africa (60), Angola (95), Zimbabwe (100) and Mozambique (107).
The Flames are likely to rise in the April rankings following a 1-0 win over Namibia last month in the 2014 World Cup qualifiers.