The Football Association of Malawi (FAM) says it will withdraw from 2019 African Nations Cup qualifying because it cannot afford to fund its team's campaign.
The FAM says it still needs to officially inform the Confederation of African Football of its intention to withdraw.
It says it is also pulling out of next year's African Nations Championship.
Malawi are likely to face financial penalties and could be suspended from future tournaments.
The FAM said in a statement it is "fully aware of the negative implications" but the situation "cannot be avoided looking at the current level of desperation."
Malawi have also put on hold a search for a new head coach. Former Liverpool goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar was one of the candidates for the job.