The dilapidated state of BAT Ground has drawn the sympathy of South Africa-based Flames striker Frank ‘Gabadinho’ Mhango who has hatched an idea of raising funds for the renovation one of the country’s oldest football venues.
The Bidvest Wits player has since called on other stakeholders and well-wishers to join him in the cause.
The player tweeted on Monday: “Yesterday, I was at BAT football ground. It is not in good state and a lot of people spoke on the same. It got me thinking, would the problem be funding that it is difficult to renovate it? If yes, can we open a fund and raise money so that we can renovate it and make it a better football hub.
“Can we do this for our up-and-coming football generation? I want to follow it up, but can we all join hands and do this.”
Gaba, who honed his skills at the BAT Ground while playing for Southern Region Football League (SRFL) side Brave Warriors, later said was moved by the dilapidated state of the facility after watching a match at the venue.
“I decided to spend my [Sunday] afternoon by watching Bullets Reserves and Mayaka FC match at BAT Ground. So many memories and great football,” he said.
BAT Ground is owned by government through Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS), but it is used by SRFL.
Director of sports in the Ministry of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development Jameson Ndalama welcomed the initiative.
“It’s a welcome development, but we will wait to hear from MNCS who are running the facility,” he said.
SRFL chairperson Raphael Humba also applauded Gaba for the idea.
“We have welcomed his idea. Let him come to us and we can sit down and discuss how to go about it. Right now Sports Council mandated us to use the stadium and, as such, we are the ones he is supposed to approach,” he said.