Johannesburg: Eritrea withdrew from the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying competition Sunday, the organisers said in a statement.
The `Red Sea Camels` were due to play fellow east Africans South Sudan during April in a two-leg preliminary tie.
No explanation was given for the pull-out, but it could be linked to continuous defections when Eritrean football teams visit other countries.
Nine players and a coach disappeared in Kenya last December when Eritrea were eliminated after the group stage of the East and Central Africa Senior Challenge Cup.
President Isaias Afewerki has ruled the one-party Horn of Africa country since independence from Ethiopia 21 years ago.