By Mabvuto Kambuwe:
Upgrading of Football Association of Malawi’s (Fam) Chiwembe Stadium in Blantyre has been completed and the facility is ready for Fifa inspection.
Fam President, Walter Nyamilandu, said the 10,000-seater stadium was ready to host matches and was due for opening next month.
“The stadium has been completed and it will be available for use soon. Fifa will inspect it first before the official inauguration.
“We are planning to invite high-ranking officials from Fifa and Malawi government to grace such an auspicious occasion. I have already linked up with Fifa President Gianni Infantino on the matter. This will be one of the first stadiums to be owned by a football association in Africa,” Nyamilandu said.
He said the opening of the facility would help Fam maximise revenue through gate collections.
“This is part of our commercialisation drive. We want to generate additional revenue to administer and develop the game at all levels,” Nyamilandu added.
The facility has been upgraded at a cost of $1.4 million (about K1 billion).
Chiwembe Stadium has an artificial turf and terraces with seats and a canopy on one wing.
The re-opening of the stadium would be good news to Blantyre-based TNM Super League teams as they will have an alternative venue for their games.
Southern Region has Kamuzu Stadium as the main venue for high-profile games, with Balaka, Nchalo and Chilomoni as alternative venues.
Another venue within the region is Mangochi Stadium while Zomba Community Centre ground is undergoing rehabilitation.
Southern Region Football Association Chairperson, Raphael Humba, said re-opening of the facility would ease match venue challenges the region faces.
“It is good news for us, as a league, because we will use the stadium to have more games played. Shortage of match venues has been one of our biggest challenges. We know that Super League teams will also be interested but we also hope to benefit,” Humba said.
TNM Super League rookies Ntopwa indicated before the season kicked off that they would be using the facility during their home games.
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