Malawi will not participate in the inaugural Cosafa Under-17 Women’s Youth Championship set for next month in South Africa.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) general secretary Alfred Gunda confirmed that the association had decided not to participate in the competition.
“We need to build a team. If you see our women’s game, you will see that we need to do more on development aspect and that’s where junior teams are drawn from,” he said.
The development comes after Malawi also failed to participate in the Cosafa Women’s Under-20 Championship in July.
National Women Football Association (NWFA) wanted Malawi to participate in both the senior and Under-20 competitions.
However, Council for Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) disqualified Malawi from the Under-20 tournament for late confirmation.
Gunda then said Malawi would participate in the Under-17 tournament, but NWFA chairperson Suzgo Ngwira had expressed doubts, saying there were no players of the age group readily available.
Confirming Malawi’s absence, Cosafa deputy chief executive officer responsible for competitions, Suzgo Nyirenda, said Malawi has missed an opportunity to expose up-and-coming players.
“This [age group] is the area that Malawi and other Cosafa members should concentrate on to develop women’s football,” he said.
With Malawi out of the picture, eight teams—South Africa, Botswana, Mauritius, Comoros, Madagascar, Seychelles, Namibia and Zambia—will participate in the regional competition.