Confederation of African Football (Caf) member associations, including Football Association of Malawi (Fam), are keeping fingers crossed as the continental football governing body continues assessing match venues for next month’s 2022 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
The Flames are expected to face South Sudan away for the second leg of the qualifiers but the hosts have been playing home matches away from home after their Juba Stadium was declared unfit for international fixtures.
Both Malawi and South Sudan have started preparations for the match, which is a must-win for either side.
The Flames started camp training on Thursday with home-based players at Mpira Village in Blantyre whereas South Sudan are preparing in Morocco.
This is raising expectations that South Sudan may end up asking Caf to allow the match to be played in the North African country.
This week, Caf communicated to all member associations that match venues for match days 5 and 6 were still under assessment in all the hosting nations.
“Kindly note that Caf only published dates, kick-off times and official designations of the Afcon 2021 qualifying matches without names of stadiums which will host the matches in question. This is due to fact that Caf is still carrying out assessment of the stadiums and the club licensing division. Caf will revert back to you on the status of stadiums as soon as possible,” reads the communication.
The Flames are expected to host Uganda on March 29 at a venue yet to be communicated. Fam proposed that the match should take place at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre.
Caf ordered all member associations to do a proper inspection and send videos and photos of their match venues for approval ahead of the upcoming Afcon fixtures.
Fam Club Licensing and Compliance Manager Casper Jangale said they were keeping fingers crossed.
“It is good that Caf has alerted us about what is happening in time. We will keep our fingers crossed and hope that relevant information will come to us in good time for planning purposes,” Jangale said.
Among the set conditions for approval is that the field of play must be green, smooth-leveled and in perfect condition for a top level match.
Another requirement is that there should be two covered benches of high quality material at high level, each with seating room for at least 14 persons and positioned at least five meters from the touchline and one covered bench of high quality material at pitch level with sitting room for four match officials.