The Foootball Association of Malawi (FAM) is failing to redeem the Chiwembe Technical Centre pitch artificial turf detained at Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) over value-added tax (VAT).
FAM chief executive officer Suzgo Nyirenda confirmed the predicament on Sunday, saying the association is struggling to raise the required K4.5 million (about $11 250).
“The turf has been held up since January because we cannot raise the required amount,” said Nyirenda.
He, however, confirmed that government waived duty for the turf.
“We sought Sports Council’s help, but the response we got was that it would be problematic for government to waive both duty and VAT.
“But then this is a donation from Fifa, purely meant for the development of the game and we hope government will bear with us as the project has been affected,” he said.
FAM was hoping that the installation of the turf would lead to the opening up of the ground for Super League and other competitive matches, thereby easing the shortage of grounds in Blantyre.
Nyirenda said with the current situation, it is doubtful whether the ground will be ready in time ahead of the next season.
Currently, Super League teams in Blantyre rely on Kamuzu Stadium while the lower leagues use BAT ground, which are both owned by government.
Azam Tigers general secretary Geoff Kachale said opening of Chiwembe ground would help cut costs for the teams which are forced to play outside Blantyre due to shortage of grounds.