Malawi national football team has earned an automatic passage to join the next Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) Cup edition.
Cosafa vice General Secretary, Suzgo Nyirenda confirmed that the Flames would join the 2020 competition from the quarter-final stage.
Joining the competition in the last-eight stages means that the Flames just need three straight wins to claim the title for the first time.
Nyirenda said that according to rules and regulations of the competition, the Flames would not participate in the group qualifiers as was the case in Durban.
“If the format for next year’s competition would be the same, then the Flames would be among the six seeded teams that would start playing from the quarter-finals,” he said.
He added: “But there is a proposal to change the format. However, this has to be discussed. For now, the rules have not changed. Teams that finish in the top six such as Malawi are seeded.”
In this year’s edition, the Flames finished as the sixth best overall team out of the 14 sides after losing 5-4 on post-match penalties to South Africa in the Plate finals.
Under Meke Mwase, the Flames qualified for the quarter-finals for the first time since 2015 after emerging as the overall best from Group B of the qualifiers, following 3-0 and 2-1 wins over Seychelles and Namibia, respectively followed by a 1-1 draw with Mozambique.
Malawi crashed out of the quarter-final stage after a 4-2 loss to eventual winners Zambia following a 2-2 draw in regulation time.