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Have mercy!

Fam, government appeal Caf Bingu National Stadium ban

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Walter Nyamilandu

Football Association of Malawi (Fam) and the Malawi Government have asked the Confederation of African Football (Caf) to reconsider its ban on Bingu National Stadium to enable the Flames to use the facility.

Caf expert Kabelo Keorapetse Hubert Bosilong condemned the facility after inspecting it and immediately advised Fam to look for an alternative venue in neighbouring countries after Kamuzu Stadium was declared unfit to host international matches.

Fam President Walter Nyamilandu confirmed appealing to Caf to conduct another inspection in the next 14 days.

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“The Ministry of Youth and Sports has also made an undertaking in writing to Caf, committing necessary resources to complete the outstanding works on the pitch. We hope Caf will rescind its decision and give us another chance to assess BNS,” he said.

Nyamilandu said Fam was yet to identify another venue as a back-up plan.

“As a fallback position, we will advise the alternative venue by close of business tomorrow [Monday],” he said.

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Secretary for Youth and Sports Oliver Kumbambe also penned Caf on Friday, asking the body to conduct another test.

“I would like to assure you that the Government of the Republic of Malawi has already initiated and will continue the renovation programme and acquisition of all stadium equipment in accordance with Caf’s remarks within two weeks as pledged during the inspection,” the letter reads.

“We have identified resources from Malawi National Council of Sports to achieve this target. I, therefore, appeal to your good organisation to reconsider the decision and allow us to finalise the renovation by 17th August 2021 as per our pledge,” it adds.

In the appeal, Kumbambe states that BNS lost its status when it was used a Covid Isolation Centre following the surge of cases in the country between January and April.

“I write to request Caf to reconsider its decision to ban the Bingu National Stadium to host the qualifying matches for Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022-African qualifiers and for Fam to select a foreign venue from among the stadiums approved by Caf. We, as government, acknowledge the observations made during the inspection on 1st and 2nd August 2021 and also the decision by Caf not to approve the Bingu National Stadium,” he said.

“However, I would like to point out that the state in which the stadium was found during the inspection was only achieved in three or four-weeks time. Accept sir, the assurances of my highest considerations.”

In the report, the Caf envoy condemned the playing surface claiming it was in unplayable condition at the time of inspection.

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