Confederation of African Football (CAF) has released details for the 2018 Orange Africa Nations Championship, but Malawi is not on the list of 43 teams that will enter the qualifying rounds, split into zones according to their regional affiliations.
Malawi is missing on the list of teams eligible to participate in the next edition alongside Madagascar, Egypt, Cape Verde, Central Africa Republic, Sao Tome, Eritrea, Somali and South Sudan.
However, Football Association of Malawi (FAM) says Malawi is still eligible to participate in the competition despite pulling out of the last edition.
FAM general secretary Suzgo Nyirenda said Malawi did not register for the competition hence not subject to the sanctions.
“We wrote CAF to explain that we would not participate in the competition. We never registered for the competition.
“I have seen what you are referring to on the CAF website. The names appearing on the list are those of the teams that participated in the previous competition.
“I believe CAF will communicate to us to complete a registration form late this year and if we have funds, available we will participate,” Nyirenda said.
He said FAM would include the Chan qualifiers on the list of activities earmarked in 2016/2017 budget to be submitted to Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS).
Chapter 27 of Chan rules and regulations on forfeit, withdrawals, refusal to play and replacement states that teams that withdraw after registering are not eligible to participate in the next edition of the tournament.
Article 57 reads: “Any national association declaring forfeit after having registered and before the drawing of lots shall lose its entry fees and is liable to a fine of $2 500. It shall also not be allowed to participate in the next edition of the Chan.
Last year, FAM president Walter Nyamilandu said the association decided to pull out of 2016 Chan due to lack of funds after government asked the association to prioritise competition son their programmes.
Nyamilandu said: “A decision was made at the last executive committee meeting to withdraw from Chan and concentrate on Afcon and Cosafa because we do not have sufficient funds.
“We felt there is a duplication of competitions between Chan and Cosafa since both would target local players.”
The 2018 Chan will be the fifth edition of the biennial tournament which is exclusively for players from the respective national leagues.
It will be hosted by Kenya, and is scheduled to take place between January–February 2018 with qualifiers set to kick of late this year.
Malawi last participated in Chan in 2011 when they were booted out by Angola in second round.