Confederation of African Football (Caf) expert Derek Blankensee from South Africa is expected to arrive in the country this week to inspect Bingu National Stadium ahead of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers.
This comes just one week after Football Association of Malawi (Fam) conducted pre-inspection on the facility.
This means the fate of the facility on hosting the qualifiers will be known before the end of this week.
Fam General Secretary Alfred Gunda confirmed that the Caf inspector is expected in the country by Wednesday.
“We have received communication from Caf that they are sending an expert to do the inspection. The inspection should be done before Friday so that Caf makes a decision on the facility .We are working on the logistics and we expect the expert in the country this week depending on the available flights,’’ Gunda said.
Fam conducted pre-inspection and sent reports to Caf before the Monday deadline last week after Caf requested all member associations to submit names of their home venues.
Last year, government provided K50 million for renovations of the facility.
Out of K50 million, K15 million was for the purchase of the chairs for media, dressing room and other rooms whereas K6 million was allocated for pitch maintenance.
BNS Manager Ambilike Mwaungulu said he was waiting for communication from Fam on the actual date of the inspection.
“We did our part and we are optimistic that the facility will pass Caf test this time,” Mwaungulu said.
According to Caf requirements, the stadium to host the home match on day one or two must have working flood lights. Again, the stadium must have movable players’ tunnel and perfect pitch.
Caf stopped the facility from hosting the 2022 World Cup qualifiers due to its poor condition. This forced Fam to choose Orlando Stadium in South Africa as home for the Flames.
By hosting the teams in South Africa, Fam spent a lot of money as it was responsible for all match details including hiring of the venue and security personnel.
Fam spent over K400 million during the World Cup qualifiers which included R158, 000 (about K10.5million) for Orlando Stadium per game.
In addition, the association spent about K27 million on air tickets.
The Flames are in Group D of the Afcon qualifiers alongside Egypt, Guinea and Ethiopia. Malawi will start the qualifiers at home against Ethiopia before travelling to Guinea. The matches are expected to be played between May 30 and June 14.