Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has said it is taking precautionary measures to rehabilitate some areas at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre before the Confederation of African Football (CAF) inspects the facility ahead of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations’ (Afcon) qualifier against Swaziland.
The match is scheduled for September 4.
FAM general secretary (GS) Suzgo Nyirenda yesterday said considering the current state of the facility, CAF could penalise them upon inspection by the match commissioner who is expected to arrive early next month.
“There are a number of areas that need to be worked on such as part of the artificial turf, toilets, the tunnel from the dressing rooms leading to the pitch, perimeter fence and the substitutes benches and we do not want to take chances. Otherwise we could find ourselves in trouble.
“Even though the facility belongs to government, it is us who are hosting the match and we cannot assume that government will do the renovations. We have to take the initiative and we started the works yesterday [Monday],” he said.
The FAM GS estimates that the rehabilitation works could cost the association about K2 million.
“If the match commissioner, or indeed, the visiting team are not happy with the state of the facility, the punishment might be in form of a fine or even postponing the match and shifting it to a neutral venue at our cost and we wouldn’t want to find ourselves in such a predicament.”
However, the facility’s manager Ambirike Mwaungulu yesterday said they were yet to meet FAM to determine which areas are in need of urgent attention and at whose cost.
“Of course, government owns the facility, but FAM is a stakeholder and we always reach an agreement on how to handle such situations to the benefit of both parties,” he said.