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BAT Ground handed lifeline

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BAT Ground situated at Chichiri, in Blantyre, is still an eyesore but could wear a new face as the government has allocated K400 million for reconstruction of the facility.

The facility is one of the key sports projects earmarked in the proposed 2022-23 National Budget which Finance Minister Sosten Gwengwe presented to parliament last week.

According to budget documents, which Times sport has seen, the K400 million is within the K2.4 billion budget allocation for Malawi National Council of Sports.

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Sports Council Public Relations Officer, Edgar Ntulumbwa said it was premature to comment on the allocation before the budget is passed.

“I will not comment on the budget until it is passed,” he said.

BAT Ground looks like an abandoned place as grass overgrows during the rainy season.

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Previously, Sports Council had plans to change the set-up of the football pitch as the goal posts are in east and west.

Reconstructing the ground could be good news for some Blantyre-based teams namely Nyasa Big Bullets, Mighty Wanderers and Mighty Tigers as they are homeless.

However, construction of Bullets and Wanderers stadia stalled due to lack of funds. Government owns most of the sports facilities in the country including Bingu National Stadium (BNS) and Kamuzu Stadium.

Both BNS and Kamuzu Stadium need rehabilitation to be certified fit to host international matches.

Former Flames midfielder Peterkins Kayira, who played at BAT ground during his career, said it was sad that the facility had been neglected for a long time.

“This facility has history and has to be rehabilitated so that it can be used as an alternative venue in Blantyre,” Kayira said.

The Council has been advised to plan its activities within the K2.4 billion.

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