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Malawi in pot 1 of World Cup draw

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Malawi will this Saturday enter pot one when Confederation of African Football (Caf) conducts the draw for the 2018 Russia Fifa World Cup preliminary round.

African football governing body, Caf, Wednesday announced the procedure for this weekend’s draw.

The 26 lowest-ranked par ticipating national football teams from the region, including Malawi, will contest in round one.

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“Those teams will be allocated to two pots of 13 teams based on the Fifa/ Coca-Cola World Ranking of July 2015; the 13 highest ranked teams and the 13 lowest ranked teams. They will then be drawn against each other to play over two legs on a home and away basis between 5 and 13 October 2015,” a communiqué from Caf read.

Malawi joins Niger, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Namibia, Kenya, Botswana, Madagascar, Mauritania, Burundi, Lesotho, Guinea Bissau and Swaziland in Pot one of 13 highest ranked teams.

Tanzania, Gambia, Liberia, Central African Republic, Chad, Mauritius, Seychelles, Comoros, Sao Tome and Principe, South Sudan, Eritrea, Somalia and Djibouti fall in pot two of 13 lowest ranked teams.

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“The winners of the first round advance to round two, where they will join the remaining 27 highest-ranked teams and face off in a two-legged play off, home and away,” the communiqué further reads.

Top ranked 27 teams; Algeria, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Tunisia, Senegal, Cameroon, Congo, Cape Verde, Egypt, Nigeria, Guinea, Congo, Mali, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, South Africa , Zambia, Burkina Faso, Uganda, Rwanda, Togo , Morocco, Sudan, Angola, Mozambique, Benin and Libya join the race in third round.

The winners of the second round will move into the third round, where five groups of four teams will meet both home and away with the winner of each group qualifying for Russia 2018.

The two-legged first round qualifiers kick-off on October 5-13 and Football Association of Malawi (Fam) is already panicking over funding since the Flames are also participating in 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

Fam president, Walter Nyamilandu, said participating in the both qualifiers would be a tall order.

“Participating in both competitions will be a very demanding. We hope the funding (from government) will match the level of activities,” Nyamilandu said.

“We are yet to be advised by Malawi National Council of Sports on our allocation for this fiscal year. It has to be a significant increase otherwise, the usual K70 million will be a drop in the ocean.”

The council is yet to release the breakdown of funding to various associations for 2015/2016.

Fam is this weekend also expected to short-list names of candidates to undergo interviews for the Flames coaching job, Nyamilandu confirmed.

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