Part of Mzuzu Stadium wall has developed cracks casting doubts on whether the stadium will be ready in time to host 2016 TNM Super League games.
Thirteen panels of the stadium wall have dislocated and according to Mzuzu City Council director of parks, leisure and environment, Godwin Pondelani, the stadium cannot host games in such state.
Pondelani said: “We started maintenance works at the stadium some weeks ago in preparation for the 2016 season. However, we have realized that the facility has developed a very big fault and 13 panels are outside the normal alignment. This is not safe, in such a situation, we cannot continue hosting Super League games unless we fix that problem.”
Meanwhile, Ponderani revealed that the council has no funds to renovate the facility.
“Our wish has been to see the whole facility repaired, but lack of resources is deterring our plans. We don’t have money,” he said.
Three Super League teams from the region-Chilumba Barracks, Moyale Barracks and Mzuzu University (Mzuni)-use Mzuzu Stadium as their home ground.
Super League of Malawi (Sulom) general secretary Williams Banda described the situation as sad.
“This is a big problem that will not only affect the teams but all soccer loving people in the region. More specifically, it will impact Northern Region teams negatively in fulfilling club licensing requirements because they are supposed to search for another pitch if the facility is not renovated,” he said.
Mzuni FC chairperson Albert Harawa has blamed the council for not disclosing the problem in good time.
“I am surprised that they are informing us now. This is a very big setback to our side,” he said.
Chilumba Barracks team manager Phillip Jere said it is the responsibility of the council to make sure that the stadium is in good state before Super League kicks off in April.
Moyale Barracks acting team manager Chimwemwe Banda said they are yet to be officially communicated by the council on the development.
Northern Region Football Association chairperson, Lameck Khonje, said he will meet the council on the matter to discuss how best they can solve the problem before Super League kick off.
Apart from the wall cracks, strong wind damaged the VIP stand and the live broadcasting rooms roof in 2014.