FAM has requested Confederation of African Football (CAF) to allow Malawi to host Women’s Under-20 World Cup and Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers at Mpira Stadium in Chiwembe Township, Blantyre.
This follows CAF’s directive that Malawi should play its home matches outside the country following the condemnation of Kamuzu Stadium due to its dilapidated state.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) general secretary Alfred Gunda confirmed that the ban on Kamuzu Stadium also affects the women’s tournaments’ qualifiers.
He said: “We have already asked CAF to allow us to use the Mpira Stadium for Malawi’s women’s football teams’ qualifiers.”
Gunda said FAM is confident that CAF will allow Malawi to use Mpira Stadium after the venue hosted a couple of international matches since its opening in 2019.
“We successfully hosted the Cosafa Under-17 tournament at the stadium in 2019. Even the Flames also hosted Zimbabwe’s Warriors at the same venue last year,” he said.
The FAM GS said a preliminary verbal response from CAF was positive.
“We presented our case and we are 100 percent confident that they will give us the green light,” said Gunda.
Malawi has been pitted against Zambia in both competitions following draws held on Monday in Cairo, Egypt.
Under-20 women’s national football team will join the World Cup from the second round while the Scorchers will start from the Women’s Afcon first round.
The Women’s Afcon qualifiers will kick off next month while the Under-20 World Cup second round will start in September.
Meanwhile, Malawi national women’s football team assistant coach Andrew Chikhosi has called on the team to utilise home advantage.
He said: “It will be a tough game. But I am sure with good preparations we can qualify for the second round. All we need is to prepare well for the qualifiers because after beating them in Cosafa Cup last year they will come hard on us. But if we use home ground advantage, we can beat them.”
The top four teams will qualify for the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, and two more teams will advance to the inter-confederation play-offs.
Nigeria are three-time defending champions, having won the tournament in 2014, 2016 and 2018.
The 2020 edition, which would have been the first to feature 12 teams, was cancelled due to Covid-19. Malawi’s Scorchers were pitted against E-swatini before the competition was cancelled.