Flames’ participation in this year’s Confederation of East and Central Africa Football Associations (Cecafa) Senior Challenge Cup is doubtful after the organisers announced that there are no plans to have a guest team at the tournament.
Cecafa website quoted its general secretary, Nicholas Musonye, saying they would not invite a guest since all member associations had confirmed their participation.
“All is in place for a good tournament because we have also received confirmation from all our members. Unlike in the previous years, this year, with all the members confirming participation, we will not be inviting guest teams. Last time we had Zambia as the only guest team but this time, barring any late withdrawals, we will have only members participating,” Musonye said.
In 2013, Cecafa extended an invitation to Malawi, but FAM opted to go for Cosafa Cup at the eleventh hour.
FAM expressed interest to participate in this year’s competition in preparation for their next 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Guinea in March, 2016.
But unless, a Cecafa member pulls out, the Flames have no chance participating in the in the tournament.
Nevertheless, Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Walter Nyamilandu, on Monday said they would still wait for official communication from Cecafa.
“If that’s the case, our attention will be playing an international friendly on the Fifa date on November 7th or 11th,” Nyamilandu said.
“While waiting for official confirmation, we will be pursuing other options.”
The tournament returns after the 2014 miss owing to the late withdrawal of hosts Ethiopia due to financial constraints.
Meanwhile, the organisers have moved the tournament from Bahar Dar, situated close to 500 kilometres away from the country’s capital Addis Ababa due to what Musonye termed as logistical issues.
The event this year will be the 38th edition.
Kenya’s Harambee Stars are the defending champions after beating Sudan 2-0 in the 2013 edition played at the Nyayo Stadium in Nairobi, Kenya.