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Disaster!

Bingu National Stadium fails Caf test

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Ulemu Msungama

The Confederation of African Football (Caf) has condemned the state of Bingu National Stadium (BNS) ahead of upcoming World Cup qualifiers next month.

This comes after Caf expert Kabelo Keorapetse Hubert Bosilong conducted inspection at the facility this week.

Caf has advised Fam to look for an alternative venue in neighbouring countries after Kamuzu Stadium was declared eqully unfit to host international matches.

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In his report, which Malawi News has seen, the Caf envoy condemned the playing surface, claiming it was in unplayable condition at the time of inspection.

“Based on the report of the inspector, Caf has informed us that the stadium does not meet the set Caf stadium minimum requirements and consequently will not be approved for the qualifying matches of the Fifa world Cup Qatar 2022,” Fam General Secretary, Alfred Gunda, said in a statement.

“Fam has been advised to select a venue among the stadiums approved by Caf in neighbouring countries and must inform the federation by Monday, August 9, 2021.

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Fam has resolved to appeal against the Caf decision and will request for another assessment in the next 14 days.

Gunda said Fam will write Caf to arrange another inspection on August 22, 2021.

“Fam is very disappointed with the news as it had high hopes of the facility passing the test considering the significant effort and resources that Malawi Government and Fam has put in to ensure the facility is homologated,” he said.

The stadium ban could also be a big blow for Nyasa Big Bullets and Silver Strikers, who earmarked the facility as home ground for their respective Caf competitions.

Minister of Youth and Sport, Ulemu Msungama on Thursday said that the government will make sure that the facility host international matches.

Football consultant Kelvin Moyo backed Fam’s decision to appeal the ban.

“I think Caf has been hard on us. The playing surface could be improved in a space of two weeks. The best way is to engage other stakeholders,” he added.

One of the key conditions for certifying the stadium fit to host international matches is that the field of play must be green, smooth, leveled and in perfect condition for a top-level football match.

Another condition is that there must be two covered benches of high-quality material at high level, each with sitting 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 fir four match officials.

Caf postponed the World Cup qualifiers in June due to Covid-19 pandemic and also to give some countries ample time to improve on their stadia.

The Flames are in Group D alongside Ivory Coast, Cameroon and Mozambique.

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