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Ekwendeni secure Rumphi home ground

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By Bernard Mhone:

Rumphi District Council has given permission to TNM Super League debutants, Ekwendeni Hammers, the go-ahead to use Rumphi Stadium as their home ground in the 2020 season.

It is yet to be seen if at all Ekwendeni will be allowed to host games at the facility as Football Association of Malawi (Fam) had said it could not host TNM Super League matches because it has no terraces.

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Chinese contractor, Hualong Construction, finished construction of the K380 million stadium early last year but the official opening ceremony is yet to take place.

However, the community has been using the facility since April last year for activities such as social games.

The Council’s Director of Public Works, Allan Chitete, said they needed to put the stadium to commercial usage so that it begins generating revenue.

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“We have advised Ekwendeni Hammers to follow all the procedures that will enable them to use the facility for the benefit of all stakeholders. The club assured us that it has a sponsor who could partially fund construction of the terraces so that they start using it.

“However, this is a public facility and we need to discuss implications of such an arrangement. But we have no problem with them using the stadium as long as they fulfil their promise,” Chitete said.

Ekwendeni Chairperson, Mabuchi Mkandawire, said they would engage other stakeholders on construction of the terraces.

“We commend the council for the gesture. We needed a home ground and Rumphi is our choice. We are now working towards improving the facility so that it meets Fam’s requirements for hosting Super League games,” Mkandawire said.

Fam Facility and Transfer Matching Systems Manager, Casper Jangale, said they have advised Ekwendeni to meet the requirements before the season kicks off on March 22.

“We will inspect the facility this month to check on the progress. The stadium needs terraces to accommodate spectators,” Jangale said.

Ekwendeni were using Chibavi Community Centre as a home ground during their time in the Simama and Sons Northern Region Football League.

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