Confederation of African Football (CAF) will inspect Bingu National Stadium (BNS) and Kamuzu Stadium between March 1 and 15 ahead of 2022 Qatar World Cup and 2021 Africa Cup of Nation (Afcon) qualifiers.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) general secretary Alfred Gunda said the association is confident that stadiums will make the grade.
He said: “The last time CAF inspected the Kamuzu Stadium, they noted that the artificial turf was worn out and needed to be replaced and this was done.
“The other critical issue was the state of the stadium’s stands. You will recall that they said we should further reduce the capacity of the stadium from 22 000 to the 15 000 which we did as recommended. So, we are confident that they will certify it fit to host matches.”
FAM was also asked to erect a tunnel from the dressing rooms which has since been done.
BNS was last inspected in 2017 and a report also pointed out several areas that needed attention.
The report noted that two exit gates used within the outer perimeter restrict final exit from the stadium and have the potential to cause a stampede.
It also recommended that additional eight exit gates of 1.15-metre in width should be installed.
Apart from structural recommendations, the stadium’s permanent advertising boards were another impediment to hosting international matches as they infringe on exclusivity of football events organisers such as CAF and its sponsors Total.
But Gunda said he hoped that Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture had worked on the areas that CAF and Fifa raised.
“They [ministry] have the reports from the inspectors and we are hoping that by the time the inspectors come, they would have rectified them,” he said.
But Ministry of Sports spokesperson Simon Mbvundula said he could not comment on the matter because they are yet to get FAM’s communication on the pending inspection.
“Normally, FAM notifies us on such exercise. But as of now, we have not yet received that communication,” he said.
The inspection comes at a time when National Football Referees Association described Malawi stadiums as not fit to host matches.
CAF has been strict on stadium conditions. Just this week, the continental football governing body blacklisted Zimbabwe’s Barbourfields Stadium, Mandava Stadium, Rufaro Stadium and the National Sports Stadium because they are not fit to host matches.
The development means Zimbabwe’s Warriors will have to play their matches in neghbouring countries.