Kenya’s opponent in the first round qualifiers of the 12th edition of the 2017 Africa U17 Cup of Nations, the Malawi national U17 team has pulled out of the competition citing financial constraints.
Kenya was slated to face Malawi in the first round qualifiers on Friday 24 June with the return leg coming seven days later. The Kenya team will now wait until Friday 5 August to take on Cameroon in the second round of the qualifiers in search for a slot to the final tournament in Madagascar.
“We have decided to withdraw from the Under-17 championship. It’s sad that we had to make this decision because the government which has been our main source of funds for the national teams did not commit to fund both youth competitions (U20 inclusive),” the Football Association of Malawi (FAM) Secretary General Suzgo Nyirenda said as quoted on Nyasa Times.
This is the second consecutive time the country is withdrawing from the U17 tourney due to financial challenges. Malawi recently pulled out of the Africa U20 Cup of Nations qualifiers due to the same difficulties.
Also read; Prospective Kenya U20 opponents pull out
Kenya was coincidentally set to meet Malawi in the second round qualifiers of the U20 tournament but was dealt a blow following their disqualification for fielding ineligible players in the first round match against Sudan U20 - who were given a bye to the third round.
This is a reprieve to the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) top management who are in the process of sampling applications for the U17 Coach's position before making the appointment.
Players born on 1st January 2000 or later are eligible to participate in the competition.