The world football governing body Fifa has produced a report that faults the newly-built state-of-the-art Bingu National Stadium (BNS) in Lilongwe in terms of the safety of football fans.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) general secretary Alfred Gunda yesterday confirmed receiving the 26-page Fifa report.
The inspection followed was insituted by Fifa following a stampede that killed eight people during Independence Day Celebrations on July 6.
The report recommends that an additional eight exits gates of 1.15 metre in width are installed.
The reports reads: “Current exit provision from the actual stadium is compliant with the recommendation and further movement to a place of safety outside of the stadium is satisfactory.
“However, the two exit gates used within the outer perimeter restrict final egress from the site and are likely to cause congestion and high crowd density when exiting at full capacity. It is our view that there are not sufficient outer perimeter gates It also recommends that stadium management should be responsible and accountable for safety at the satdium.”
The report also recommends a clear hierarchical structure to define divisions and limits of responsibility during matches in accordance with good practice of intergrated command an control.
Gunda said they have forwarded the report to relevant authorities in government for action.
He said: “As I said before the inspections started, the Fifa experts purely came to look at what we have and advise the best way to the safety and security of the facilities.
“We should sit down to see how best we can go forward as regards the recommendations that have been made. As FAM we only use the facilities which are owned by the government.”
When asked yesterday on government’s reaction to the recommendations made in the report, yesterday director of sports in the Ministry of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development Jameson Ndalama said they are yet to discuss the way forward.
“I have received the report, but we are yet to discuss its contents. However, we are committed to implementing the majority of the recommendations,” he said.
“Fifa has given us standard recommendations but there are some that cannot be met due to structure and nature of the stadia. For that, there are some alternatives that can be done. Therefore, before we implement the recommendations, we will have to make decisions, submit what we are going to do and get advice from Fifa.” n