ingu National Stadium (BNS) in Lilongwe has for the second time failed to pass the Confederation of African Football (CAF) test due to patches on one half of the pitch; hence, deemed not fit to host World Cup matches.
This means the Flames will continue playing home games away from home in the ongoing 2022 Qatar World Cup qualifiers. Malawi will, thus, play their home qualifier against Ivory Coast in South Africa.
This follows the latest inspection by a CAF inspector last week.
FAM president Walter Nyamilandu confirmed the development in an interview yesterday, saying CAF was still not satisfied with the state of the pitch.
But he said they would appeal against the decision.
Said Nyamilandu: “I am afraid to advise that BNS hasn’t passed the second inspection that was undertaken.
“The ban has not been lifted and we have been requested to nominate an alternative venue outside Malawi by tomorrow 17th September [today].
“We are appealing the matter to both CAF and Fifa for unfair assessment. To support our case, we have sent them a video of the current status for their appreciation.”
But he stressed that the decision does not affect tomorrow’s CAF Champions League preliminary round second leg between Nyasa Big Bullets and South Africa’s AmaZulu.
“BNS has only been banned for World Cup matches,” said Nyamilandu.
The FAM president was quoted by our sister paper Weekend Nation last month as having said the cost of hiring a Orlando Stadium is R158 000 (about K9.5 million).
However, FAM commercial and marketing director Limbani Matola was quoted by The Daily Times as having said that they secured K25 million sponsorship from money transfer firm Hallo Paisa to meet the cost of hosting the match.
Besides, FAM spent K27 million on air tickets and external allowances.
Last month, CAF banned BNS from hosting the World Cup qualifier against Mozambique’s Mambas.
The Flames ended up hosting Mozambique in Johannesburg, South Africa where they won 1-0 last week.
This means that the Flames will again host Ivory Coast at the same venue.