Malawi national football team will start Africa Nations Championship (Chan) campaign against Madagascar in April.
The Flames start away to Madagascar in a two-legged first round encounter on the weekend of April 20-22.
The second leg will be played a week later on the weekend of April 28-30.
The winner will play Mozambique in the second round in July.
If the Flames beat Madagascar and Mozambique, they will play the winner between Mauritius/Seychelles and Angola in the last round in August.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) general secretary Alfred Gunda described the fixture as tricky.
“These days, there are no underdogs in football,” he said.
Meanwhile, FAM says it is in the final stages of hiring a coach to lead the Flames in the campaign.
“I cannot give the details but very soon we will unveil the new Flames coach,” said Gunda.
Malawi last participated in Chan in 2011.
They were knocked out by Angola in second round.
The Flames beat the Mambas 3-0 at Kamuzu Stadium and lost 1-0 in Maputo in the first round.
Malawi bowed out of the competition after losing 3-1 to Angola in the second round.
They drew one-all in Luanda but lost 2-0 at Kamuzu Stadium.
In 2009, Malawi was booted out in first round by Mozambique.
Malawi beat Mozambique 2-1 at Kamuzu Stadium but lost 1-0 in Nampula in the second leg.
CAF introduced Chan in 2007, but the first tournament was held in 2009 in Ivory Coast.
It strictly features national league players.
Foreign-based players regardless of where they play, do not qualify to take part.
The 2018 finals will be held in Kenya. n