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Civo, Silver stadium renovation yet to start

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Government is yet to start renovations on Civo and Silver stadiums in Lilongwe ahead of this year’s African Union Sports Council Region 5 Youth Games.

The two popular match facilities are among the venues earmarked for the Games in December.

They will host the Cosafa Under-17 Boys Championship which will be used as qualifiers for the 2022 TotalEnergies Africa Youth Championship.

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However, two weeks after the government indicated that the stadiums will be closed from July 18 to October 31, renovations are yet to commence with both Civil Service United and Silver Strikers continuing to use the two venues for their matches.

For instance, Civil hosted Red Lions at Civo whereas Silver Strikers hosted Mafco at the Area 47 facility last weekend.

Civo will also host the fixture between Civil and Kamuzu Barracks this weekend.

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The delays in commencing renovation works on the facilities are expected to pile pressure on the Local Organising Committee (Loc) as major facilities Griffin Saenda Sports Complex and Indoor Sports Complex in Lilongwe are yet to be completed ahead of the games.

Loc Public Relations Officer Tamara Chafunya said they will invite requests for quotations on August 1.

“Requests for quotations of renovating playing fields for BNS [Bingu National Stadium], Civo and Silver stadiums will be invited on Monday August 1.

“Submissions shall be made on Friday August 5 followed by evaluations. Week starting 8th-12th August we should have contractors on the ground ready to start the maintenance works,” Chafunya said.

During one of their several visits to the country to appreciate the progress on the ground, Regional Organising Committee experts observed that the two facilities need some serious renovations to be certified fit to host the Games.

For Civo Stadium, the experts noted that there was a need to fix the floodlights, renovate dressing rooms, toilets and also improve the playing surface.

Civil General Secretary Ronald Chiwaula said they will continue using the facility until it is officially closed for renovations.

The experts also recommended that Silver’s pitch should be replaced with a new one as it is bumpy and muddy.

It was also observed that the players’ tunnel at the Central Bankers’ home ground is too small for international matches.

Silver Chief Executive Officer Thokozani Chimbali said the matter is in the hands of ground owners Reserve Bank of Malawi.

Construction of six tennis courts for the Games is also yet to start. The courts will be constructed near Griffin Saenda Sports Complex.

Malawi has until September 30 2022 to ensure that all facilities are in shape for the Games.

Over 3,500 athletes and officials from the Southern Africa region will come to Malawi for the Games.

The athletes will compete in football, netball, swimming, basketball and volleyball.

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