Zambia withdraw from U-20 version of Malawi 4-Nations Tournament

* Opening game has been shifted from Thursday to Wednesday, March 20

* Venue changed from Bingu National Stadium to Silver Stadium

* The format has changed from knockout to round robin

By Duncan Mlanjira

Football Association of Zambia has withdrawn its Under-20 from the Malawi 4-Nations tournament that will take place in Lilongwe and the opening game has been shifted from Thursday to Wednesday, March 20.


A public notice from Football Association of Malawi (FAM) says the venue has been changed from Bingu National Stadium to Silver Stadium as well as the format from knockout to round robin for the three teams — hosts Malawi, Kenya and Zimbabwe.

Thus the fixture for the U-20 are: Malawi vs Zimbabwe (Wednesday); Kenya vs Zimbabwe (Friday March 22); and Malawi vs Kenya (Sunday March 24).

FAM further said the schedule for the senior national teams remains the same as earlier announced with all the four teams available for the competition.

Zimbabwe U-20 national team arrived in Lilongwe on Sunday while Kenya is expected to arrive tomorrow while Zimbabwe seniors will arrive in two groups with the first one expected to jet in this afternoon while the last group will arrive tomorrow.

Zambia will also arrive tomorrow while Kenya’s Harambe Stars will arrive on Thursday.

The four FAs agreed to the tournament as it will present a valuable opportunity for the senior national teams to face quality opposition in preparation for upcoming 2026 FIFA World Cup and Africa Cup of Nation (AFCON Morocco 2025 qualifying campaigns.

The U-20 tournaments will aid in developing and exposing elite youth talent while preparing teams for upcoming 2024 AFCON U-20 qualifiers later this year.

Meanwhile, tickets for the 4-Nations tournament are now available at various outlets — Lilongwe at Acres Gateway, Area 18 Puma, Area 23 Puma, Bluewaves Puma, Kafoteka, Kanengo Puma, Kawale Engen, Maula Puma, Mbewe Puma, RK Shop, Total Walkers while for Corporate Box & VIP tickets at Bingu National Stadium Box W26.

Blantyre outlets are at Limbe Total filling station, Ndirande Engen, Blantyre Haile Selassie Total, Kameza Puma while Mzuzu is at Katoto Puma.

Daily pass standard tickets at K3,000 advance and K5,000 on Match Day; VIP at K15,000 advance and K20,000 Match Day; Coporated Box at K20,000 advance and K30,000 Match Day while car pass is K500.

In their joint statement when announcing the tournament, the four FAs said they joint tournaments will build camaraderie between the nations, provide high-level competition for the players and elevate youth football programs across Kenya, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Malawi’s Group H opponents for 2026 FIFA World Cup are Tunisia, Equatorial Guinea, Namibia, Liberia and São Tomé e Principe while Kenya are in Group F with Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, The Gambia, Burundi and Seychelles.

Zimbabwe are in Group C alongside Nigeria, South Africa, Benin, Rwanda and Lesotho with Zambia in Group E with Morocco, Congo, Tanzania, Niger and Eritrea.

The qualifying matches for the 2026 FIFA World Cup started in November and will resume in June in which the Flames are on 3rd position having beaten Liberia 1-0 away in Monrovia before losing by same margin against Tunisia here at home.

The Flames tie on 3 points with Namibia but Namibia are on second position on goal difference while Equatorial Guinea and Tunisia tie on six points after registering two wins in Match Day 1 & 2 in November but Tunisia are at the top having a goal difference of 5 against Equatorial Guinea’s two.

Equatorial Guinea first overcame Namibia 1-0 and Liberia also 1-0 while Tunisia first beat São Tomé e Principe 4-0 before beating the Flames 1-0 with Namibia seeing off Sao Tome e Principe 2-0.

After June, the next qualifying matches for Flames’ Group H will be in 2025 (March, September, October and November).