Malawi national football team, the Flames, will return to Bingu National Stadium on November 11 after Football Association of Malawi (FAM) convinced Lesotho Football Association that the international friendly against the ‘Crocodiles’ should be played in the country.
Initially, the two sides agreed that match, which will be played on Fifa international calendar date, should be staged in Maseru, Lesotho.
But FAM general secretary Alfred Gunda yesterday said they had negotiated with their counterparts to have the game shifted to Malawi.
He said: “It has been a long time since Malawi last played at their home, Bingu National Stadium.
“This match gives the home fans an opportunity to watch their team. I have already talked to the stadium management to book the venue on the date.”
Scarcity of teams willing to play Malawi at home forced the Flames to play away for the past four months, rendering the Chinese-built facility a white elephant.
But Gunda said the Flames will now play at home.
He said: “It’s a new team and the fans have not watched them playing, recently. Our next game is also at home against Morocco. So, this should be an interesting fixture as the coach is building a team.”
The match, which will be Malawi’s Flames third at the newly-built stadium, comes four months after the Flames last played at the venue against Comoros in African Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers.
In between, the Flames have been on the road playing international friendlies against Morocco Under-23 and Togo during Morocco training camp.
Malawi then drew one-all against Tanzania in another friendly match.
Before this match, Malawi also drew against Kenya in another away friendly match as the team was preparing for African Nations Championship qualifier against Madagascar.
Malawi last played Lesotho at the 2016 Cosafa Cup where the Crocodiles beat the Flames for the first time in 35 years.
Meanwhile the Flames are expected to regroup next week in preparation for the match.
Coach Ronny van Geneugden (RVG) is expected to maintain the same squad that played Tanzania a week ago.
If any changes, the coach is expected to call two more foreign-based players to try, according to technical director John Kaputa.
“The only addition could be strikers Robin Ngalande and Atusaye Nyondo, who will be given a chance to be assessed,” he said. n