Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has settled for South Africa as the alternative home ground for the Flames’ upcoming 2022 World Cup qualifiers.
This follows Confederation of African Football’s (CAF) decision to declare Bingu National Stadium (BNS) unfit to host the qualifiers.
Initially, the local football governing body was considering South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe as possible alternatives.
FAM president Walter Nyamilandu confirmed the decision yesterday, saying: “We have settled for South Africa as an alternative venue in the event that CAF does not rescind its decision of banning BNS.”
He said they are still keeping their fingers crossed that their appeal to CAF will succeed.
On the reasons for choosing South Africa, the FAM president said: “It will be cost effective because most of the Flames players are based in South Africa.
“The national team will also have an opportunity of camping in ideal conditions with access to advanced training facilities.”
On the burden of the Flames playing their home matches abroad, Nyamilandu said: “Obviously it will be costly than playing at home , but we will have no choice except to use our resources to fulfil the fixture in a neutral venue.”
Minister of Youth and Sports Ulemu Msungama said in the event that the appal to CAF does not succeed, they will ensure that funding is made available for the Flames to fulfil their engagements.
“But we are hopeful that the appeal will be successful,” he said.
The Flames first home match in the qualifiers will be against Mozambique’s Mambas on September 7.
They are also supposed to face Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions away within the same period.