Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has announced that the Flames will not take part as guests at the forthcoming Council for East and Central Africa (Cecafa) Senior Challenge Cup scheduled for November 25 to December 12.
Malawi has been participating as guests at the regional competition in the past four editions.
In the last edition held in Ethiopia, they were booted out in the quarter-finals after losing 2-0 to Uganda under then coach Ernest Mtawali.
However, FAM general secretary Alfred Gunda said though there was a possibility of participating, the Flames will not do so because it is not ‘necessary’.
He said: “In the past, our purpose of participating in the competition was because we wanted as much international exposure for the Flames as possible. But this time our national team has been active for the past five months. They have played 11 matches on all Fifa dates. I think that is enough.”
Gunda added that the competition was not viable since the Under-20 national football team will also be travelling to Zambia to take part in Cosafa Youth Championship.
He said: “We also have to look at the financial implications. We don’t have to jump at just everything for the sake of it. We need to look into the finances as well. In this case is it not worth sending a team to Cecafa Cup when we also have the Under-20 travelling to Zambia?”
The development is a relief to Super League of Malawi (Sulom), which would have been on the receiving end of the consequences of going to Cecafa while the league is in full swing.
“We were worried because going to Cecafa would have resulted in the calendar being stretched. Our plans of wrapping up the season in December would have been affected.
“Remember, apart from the league we also have the Fisd Challenge Cup which is in full swing.
“We are grateful that FAM has made a sensible decision not to participate in Cecafa Cup just for the sake of it as it has been in the past,” said Sulom general secretary Williams Banda.
Malawi was part of the Cecafa until late 1990s when they joined Cosafa.
Malawi have won the competition three times in 1978, 1979 and 1988.
They won silver in 1975, 1984 and 1989 and bronze in 1977, 1980 and 1985. n