Malawi withdraws from African Cup qualifying, has no money

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BLANTYRE, Malawi (AP) The Malawi soccer association says it will withdraw from the qualifying competition for the 2019 African Cup of Nations because it can’t afford to fund its team’s campaign.

The Football Association of Malawi says it still needs to officially inform the Confederation of African Football of its intention to withdraw. It says it’s also pulling out of next year’s African Nations Championship.

Malawi is likely to face financial penalties and could be suspended from future tournaments.

The FAM says in a statement it is “fully aware of the negative implications” but the situation “cannot be avoided looking at the current level of desperation.”

Malawi also put on hold a search for a new head coach. Former Liverpool goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar was one of the candidates.