World football governing body Fifa has approved Kamuzu Stadium to host the Flames’ 2018 World Cup preliminary round second leg qualifier against Tanzania’s Taifa Stars on October 11.
The stadium was declared unfit for international games due to rusty stands and threadbare artificial turf but after an inspection by Fifa envoy Joseph Nkole from Zambia last Thursday, the pitch should host international games up to December.
“We have good news. We will be able to host our return match against Tanzania at Kamuzu Stadium as Fifa has given us the green light,” said Football Association of Malawi (FAM) chief executive officer Suzgo Nyirenda during a press conference at Chiwembe Technical Centre in Blantyre on Wednesday.
“The Stadium will be available for international games until December when we will probably shift to the newly constructed Bingu National Stadium because the other altenative, Civo Stadium, cannot host World Cup qualifiers.”
However, he said the game will kick off at 2pm and not the normal 2:30pm so as to accommodate extra-time and penalties if the match will get to such stages since Kamuzu Stadium has no functioning floodlights.
The Flames will start camp on Monday, September 21, in preparation for the first-leg away match slated for October 7.
According to Nyirenda, the national football team squad will be named this Friday and, currently, they are waiting for the Flames head coach Ernest Mtawali and his assistant Nsanzurwimo Ramadhan to present a report on their recent away African Cup of Nations Cup qualifier against Swaziland’s Sihlangu Semnikati which ended in a two-all draw in Swaziland.
He added that before meeting Tanzania away, they have planned that the Flames should play a friendly match against either Uganda or Kenya.
“We have planned to have a friendly against an east African team before facing Tanzania in Dar es Salaam. However, that friendly will only comprise locally-based players because foreign clubs will not let our professionals out on dates outside Fifa calendar,” Nyirenda said.
If the Flames succeed in the two-legged qualifiers against Tanzania, they will face Algeria in the next group L match at home on November 9.