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Bingu National Stadium earmarked for Madonna academy

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By Mabvuto Kambuwe:

Football Association of Malawi (Fam) has said the football academy to be funded by US pop star Madonna will be constructed in Lilongwe adjacent to Bingu National Stadium (BNS).

During her last visit to Malawi in July, Madonna promised that she would build a football academy in the country.

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The musician promised to set up the academy when she visited the Mercy James Paediatric Surgery and Intensive Care at Blantyre’s Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in July this year.

She was reportedly inspired by her adopted son David Banda’s skills at Portuguese giants Benfica FC’s academy.

However, Madonna’s representatives were not clear on when the project would start in Lilongwe.

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At their recent executive meeting, Fam officials agreed to allocate the land for the project.

Fam president Walter Nyamilandu confirmed that the academy had been allocated the land initially set aside for the technical project to be funded by Morocco’s Royal Football Federation (RMFF).

“It is true that the land meant for the Morocco project has been earmarked to the Madonna football academy. Following the development, we are taking the Morocco project to Mzuzu. Our target is to upgrade the technical centre in Mzuzu so that we generate revenue,’’ Nyamilandu said.

Towards the end of last year, Fam and RMFF signed a three-year partnership worth K3.6 billion but the technical centre project which the North Africans promised as part of the partnership is yet to take off.

Football academies have largely been credited with developing some of the best players who learn the tricks of the trade from such institutions at tender ages.

In just four years of it’s existence, the defunct Surestream academy produced great talents such as Brighton Munthali, Levison Maganizo, Rafik Namwera, Thuso Paipi, Mike Mkwate, Ernest Tambe, Patrick Phiri and Mark Fodya, among others.

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