Government has announced that the Bingu National Stadium (BNS), which has been lying idle eight months after completion, will be officially opened in October with an international friendly match between China and Malawi spicing up the occasion.
Minister of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development Henry Mussa said this yesterday in Lilongwe when he officially received the facility from the contractor Anhui Foreign Construction (Group) Company Limited (Afecc).
“We have received funding to do the final touches. The final touches are to do with the sewer system, and the electricity system. The procurement of the materials is in process and my projection is that the stadium will be opened not later than October,” said Mussa.
“Our plan is to have his Excellency the State President Peter Mutharika open the facility and one of the major events is an international friendly match between the Flames the national team from China. Let me use this opportunity to assure Malawians that this facility will be well looked after and that in the long run, it will be self-sustaining,” said Mussa.
Chinese Ambassador to Malawi Wang Shiting also confirmed that they are in talks with the Chinese Football Association (AFC).
“We have already started the process. We have already communicated with the Chinese football authorities and we hope to have our national team play your Flames,” said Wang.
He described the BNS as a landmark building that cements the relationship between the two countries.
“Three years ago this place was a wasteland but now with this magnificent facility the face of Lilongwe has changed. This facility will be able to host international events and in the process create employment,” said Wang.
Vice president of Afecc Xia Fang said they will continue to partner government in maintaining the facility so that it continues to be in good condition.
“We have established good relations with the Malawi government and our team of experts will be working with their counterparts in Malawi in maintaining the facility,” said Xia.
The Chinese ambassador said the arrangement between Afecc and the government of Malawi is that they have signed a one year contract in which Afecc will continue to maintain the facility.
“This facility is also our responsibility and we will support the [Malawi] government.”