By Mabvuto Kambuwe:
Be Forward Wanderers and Nyasa Big Bullets have hailed members of Parliament (MPs) for approving K1.6 billion meant for the construction of two stadia for the Blantyre giants.
The two teams, who have never owned any playing infrastructure in their 50 years of existence, will be allocated K800 million each for the project.
Bullets Chief Administration Officer, Albert Chigoga, hailed the law makers for the development.
“This is great news to our football. We are excited with the development and we thank the parliamentarians for putting the welfare of football-loving Malawians first above politics,” Chigoga said.
Wanderers Chairperson, Gift Mkandawire, said the approval of the funds for the stadia showed the parliamentarians have the heart to develop sports in the country.
“We applaud the parliamentarians for thinking about the Malawian youths. The infrastructure will mean a lot not only to Wanderers and Bullets but to all football-loving Malawians. Our hats off to the law-makers,” Mkandawire said.
Youth, Sports and Culture Ministry has been allocated K9.8 billion with some funds earmarked for the infrastructure development, including rehabilitation of Kamuzu Institute for Sports and Mzuzu Youth Centre.
Kamuzu Institute for Sports and Mzuzu Youth Centre have each been allocated K500 million.
The government allocated Bullets a piece of land near Moneymen along Chikwawa Road whereas Wanderers were given land near Kadzenja Forest in Limbe West opposite Blantyre Teachers Training College.
The Blantyre giants use Kamuzu Stadium as home ground.
In the TNM Super League, Blue Eagles, Silver Strikers and Civil Sporting Club own stadia.
President Peter Mutharika, during his campaign rallies before the May 21 tripartite elections, promised to build stadia for the two giants.
However, such a pledge received mixed reactions as some said Mutharika’s promise was aimed at gaining political mileage.
Human Rights Defenders Coalition member, Reverend Richard Sembereka, said they feel betrayed by the law makers.
“We will continue lobbying but we feel betrayed because priorities are upside down. We have some sports facilities but they are under-utilised in the country. We are failing to utilise Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe. It means Blantyre will have three stadiums, and the danger is that some will be exploited,” Sembereka said.
According to reports, the government will own the stadia but the two teams will manage them.
The government has Kamuzu, Mzuzu, Bingu National and Civo stadia but Capital Hill struggles to maintain them.
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