The delay to open the Bingu National Stadium (BNS) in Lilongwe has forced Luso Television (TV) to shift the second leg of Bus Ipite Soccer Bonanza between Nyasa Big Bullets and Be Forward Wanderers to Civo Stadium.
The two giants will battle for a 26-seater Nissan Civilian bus in a two-legged encounter. The first match is expected on December 26 at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre with the second match on January 2 2017.
While confirming the development, the TV station’s manager Juma Dick Chisale expressed fear that the change might negatively affect patronage to the second-leg match.
“We wanted to host the final leg battle at a bigger and better venue and the BNS was our priority. Since the newly-built stadium has not been officially opened, we have no choice but to change the venue,” he said.
The 35 000-seater state-of-the-art facility was scheduled to be opened on December 10 but, as has been the case over the past few months, the ceremony has been shifted to a later date next month.
Meanwhile, Chisale has disclosed that the bus is expected to be shipped into the country from Japan next week.
“Luso TV personnel will travel to Tanzania this Friday to process the bus’ entry into the country. By the time the games will be played, it will be on display,” Chisale said.
The cost of the bus is estimated at K25 million while expenditure for the entire bonanza is pegged at approximately K35 million.
“In addition, we will pay for the accommodation of the two teams, which will also get K2 million each as appearance fees. This is a big investment,” he said.
In spite of that, Civo Stadium manager Jameson Kadoda said he was not aware of Luso TV plans to hold the bonanza at the venue.
“We are yet to get communication in relation to that development. Let me consult the Luso TV guys before I comment on this matter,” Kadoda said. n