Football Association of Malawi (FAM)will cough R158 000 (about K9.5 million) to hire Orlando Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa for their 2022 World Cup qualifier against Mozambique’s Mambas on September 7.
South Africa Football Association (Safa) has since approved Football FAM’s request for the Flames to play at the 37 000 capacity stadium owned by the City of Johannesburg.
FAM president Walter Nyamilandu has said all the logistics pertaining to the match have since been finalised.
Among other high-profile events, Orlando Stadium, which is also used as the home ground for DStv Premiership side Orlando Pirates, hosted some of the 2010 World Cup matches.
Said Nyamilandu in an interview yesterday: “All administrative arrangements for the World Cup qualifier match against Mozambique have been finalised.
“We have authorisation from Safa to play the match at Orlando Stadium, having negotiated the hiring charges to R158 000 through Cosafa [Council of Southern Africa Football Associations].”
However, Nyamilandu said the amount does not include Cosafa’s negotiating fee, saying: “That’s separate. We are currently negotiating the fees.”
Among others, the fee covers electricity, water, security, medics, ambulance, fire and Covid-19 preventive facilities.
“In addition, we also have an arrangement with Cosafa to assist with match organisation as well as logistics of the Flames on our behalf as the host.”
Besides, FAM will also spend about K27 million on air tickets and external allowances.
A return air ticket to Johannesburg is currently at $645.56 (about K530 000) according to Malawian Airlines spokesperson Joseph Josiah.
This means that for a delegation of 35 (25 players, nine technical officials and leader of delegation) it would cost about K18 550 000.
In addition, Flames players and officials get $100 (about K82 100) each in external allowances per night and for a delegation of 35 for three nights, translating to about K8 620 500, excluding food, accommodation and other logistics.
On the other hand, if Malawi had hosted Mozambique at home, it would have cost FAM K3 710 000 for air tickets for seven players based in South Africa. FAM could also have saved on external allowances.
This comes in the wake of Confederation of African Football’s (CAF) decision to reject Bingu National Stadium (BNS) in Lilongwe following government and FAM’s failure to rehabilitate the pitch to the expected standards.
Malawi is among eight African countries to have been stripped of home advantage in next month’s World Cup qualifiers after their venues failed to make the grade following aCAF team’s inspection.
Should the ban on BNS extend beyond the Mozambique match, the costs could double or even triple as the Flames would also have to host Ivory Coast’s Elephants and Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions in South Africa.
But Nyamilandu said they are optimistic that the other two home matches will be played at BNS.
He said: “CAF are sending experts this month end to help us work on the field so that it can be ready for the next match in October.
“So, we have a chance of hosting the other matches at BNS if the pitch is well attended to. This will be our last chance to redeem ourselves. It is giving us a glimmer of hope that BNS will be back soon.”