Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has beaten the Monday deadline set by Confederation of African Football (CAF) to submit a detailed report on the state of Bingu National Stadium (BNS) in Lilongwe.
The 41 100 capacity arena was proposed by the local football governing body to host the upcoming 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers after failed bids to host the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, which left the Flames playing their home matches in Johannesburg, South Africa.
In an interview yesterday, FAM licensing and compliance manager Casper Jangale said the report, complete with pictures and video clips, was sent on Monday evening.
He said: “As stated earlier, there were a number of issues that we were required to work on, but crucial were the pitch and erection of a tunnel which we have done.
“After a joint inspection with officials from the Ministry of Youth and Sports, we are satisfied that we have covered all the areas and we are optimistic that this time around, the stadium will be approved.”
Jangale said they expect to get a response from CAF between Friday and Monday.
“We are now just keeping our fingers crossed that the facility should pass the test,” he said.
BNS manager Ambirike Mwaungulu also said they are satisfied with the works undertaken.
He said: “Everything is on course and we are just waiting for CAF’s determination. Otherwise, we worked on all the areas such as the pitch itself, removal of advertising panels, substitutes and referees’ benches, furnishing referees’ dressing room and creation of medical and doping rooms.”
Last week, Flames captain Limbikani Mzava said hosting the Afcon qualifiers on home soil would be a big boost.
“Hopefully, CAF will approve the stadium this time around because playing at home gives the host team a psychological advantage,” he said.
Treasury last year released K44 million for the maintenance of the facility.
The first-round of Afcon qualifiers are set to begin with two matches between May 30 and June 14 and Malawi will start the campaign with back-to-back fixtures against Ethiopia’s Walyas at home before travelling to Guinea to face the Syli Nationale. Egypt’s Pharaohs complete the group.
Two more fixtures will follow in September , with the final rounds in March next year.