Flames opponents in the Cosafa Cup, Comoros Islands, have pulled out of this year’s championship which is scheduled to kick off Tuesday in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
The Islanders were in Group B alongside Malawi, Madagascar and defending champions Zambia but they pulled out of the competition due to travel restrictions.
This means the group will have three teams, forcing Cosafa to change the fixtures.
“In order to level the playing field in the calculation for that best runner-up position, the results against bottom sides in the four-team Groups A and C will be discarded. This is only to determine the best runner-up across the pool, the winners of each group will be decided using all games,” the statement reads.
Only group winner in each group will advance to the semifinals of the competition along with the best runner-up.
Flames Team Manager Clement Kafwafwa said the withdrawal of Comoros was a setback.
“We were planning to play three games in the group stages so that everyone should have a chance to play. But we just need to be focused and win our games to finish on top of the group,” he said.
The Flames, who are expected to travel to South Africa today, will face Madagascar in the opening match of the group at Isaac Wolfson on Wednesday.
Malawi were due to face Comoros on July 10 but will wrap up Group B campaign against Zambia on July 13 at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.