Football: Malawi pull out of competitions over cash shortage
Malawi have pulled out of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) and the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) due to lack of money, in a move the government criticised as "hasty".
The Football Association of Malawi (FAM) said in a statement on Sunday that "having considered all available options" it was withdrawing "due to lack of funding".
The country, ranked 103rd in the world, also halted its search for a foreign coach.
Alfred Gunda, the head of FAM, said that the withdrawal "cannot be avoided looking at the current level of desperation in the national team in terms of funding and overall support".
FAM has been solely sponsored by government after local companies dropped their support as the national economy struggles.
Recruitment of a foreign coach has been halted until the "government has adequate resources," the federation added.
Sports minister Henry Mussa told local media that FAM's withdrawal was "hasty as consultations have not been exhaustive".
He questioned why Malawi could not hire an experienced local coach and compete in the tournaments.
The qualifying group stages of the CHAN tournament begin in April, and AFCON qualification starts in June, with Malawi due to play the winner of Comoros and Mauritius.