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Fam hits blank wall

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Alfred Gunda

Confederation of African Football (Caf) has thrown out Football Association of Malawi (Fam)’s appeal against the continental football governing body’s decision to stop Malawi National Football Team from hosting matches at Bingu National Stadium (BNS).

The development means Malawi will host Mozambique at Orlando Stadium in South Africa on September 7 in a 2022 Qatar World Cup qualifier.

Caf banned BNS from hosting international matches, saying it was unfit.

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Fam General Secretary Alfred Gunda stated in a press release issued yesterday that, following Caf’s rejection of the appeal, the association had opted for Johannesburg’s Orlando Stadium.

“This is not what we expected but we have no choice. We should just bite the bullet and be serious with fixing the pitch. There will be another inspection in September and we have a chance of hosting the remaining matches of the World Cup at BNS once the pitch is well attended to.

“This is our last chance to redeem ourselves. It is giving us hope that BNS will be back soon.

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. On the Mozambique game, as directed by Caf, we have opted for Orlando Stadium and we have since confirmed our booking with the venue owners,” the statement reads

Gunda said it opted for South Africa as an alternative home ground as it provides the best and convenient options in match organisation and team logistics.

The Flames will start World Cup qualifiers with a trip to Cameroon on September 4 2021 before hosting Mozambique in South Africa.

In his letter to Fam, Caf General Secretary Veron Masengo-Omba said they did not want to delay confirmation of the match venue.

“Considering that the match day is in less than 30 days, Caf is not in a position to delay any further the confirmation of the match venue for the visiting team nor grant an approval based on the current state of the stadium.

“The selection of the venue, respective date and time of the match has to be set well in advance. As you know, this has a direct impact on the preparations of match logistics and operations by all the concerned parties.

“Considering the above and due to the urgency of the matter, the stadium ban appeal of Fam is not accepted and the decision in the Caf letter dated 5 August 2021 is upheld, hence your federation will have to select an approved stadium in a country of another Caf member association,” the letter reads.

The Flames will also be using the qualifiers to prepare for Africa Cup of Nations finals to be staged in Cameroon in January next year.

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