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Fam, Unima clash over Kamuzu stadium

Football Association of Malawi (Fam) is concerned that Kamuzu Stadium will host University of Malawi (Unima) 50th Anniversary Celebrations on October 10 2015, a day before the Flames entertain Tanzania’s Taifa Stars in a World Cup qualifier.

Unima’s celebrations will include football and netball matches, which Fam general secretary, Sugzo Nyirenda, yesterday described as worrisome.

He said the association wanted the stadium closed after this Saturday’s TNM Super League match between Big Bullets and Be Forward Wanderers, to pave the way for the World Cup match.

Nyirenda said the association will be in a tight corner because Fifa officials need to inspect the stadium on Saturday morning during the same time Unima games will be at a climax.

He lamented that it is hard to bar the Unima officials as the event will involve high-profile guests such as President Peter Mutharika.

“As you are aware, we have been working hard to make sure that Kamuzu Stadium is fit for the World Cup qualifier. We gave the Super League of Malawi a deadline of October 4 2015 for their games at the stadium and have it closed at least for a week to finalise maintenance of the actual artificial turf,” Nyirenda explained.

“The fear is that the match commissioner from Fifa will, at all, cost need to inspect the stadium on Saturday morning. It will be hard for us to stop the proceedings of the event, but we are just praying that there should be no implications with the Unima celebrations.”

However, Unima’s celebrations event manager, Peter Mitunda, said that it was news to him that Fam has raised a concern over the stadium, adding that stadium officials gave the university a nod for the event.

Mitunda said he was aware of the World Cup qualifying match, but they cannot shift their celebrations.

“We are gearing up for the event. I don’t see these celebrations being cancelled as the State President is the Chancellor of the University of Malawi. We will try to sit down with Fam,” Mitunda added.

Malawi team will leave for Tanzania on Sunday before hosting the Taifa Stars three days later.

Stadium manager, Ambilike Mwaungulu, yesterday said they were in a tight corner as the celebrations involve the State President and that Unima booked the venue earlier in August than Fam (this month).

“They won’t use the play field. We will have to tell them that their programme must not go beyond the scheduled time so that it does not affect the away team, which will have to train there on that day,” Mwaungulu explained.

“It is difficult as the State President will be in attendance. It is like we are inconveniencing an event [for Unima] which was booked earlier. At that time, we did not have the calendar of events for the Flames.”

Shortage of venues lead to every national event being held at the dilaphidated Blantyre arena. The Flames will relocate to Bingu National Stadium once construction of the Chinese government-funded facility is completed this November

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