The life span of Kamuzu Stadium artificial turf is under threat due to lack of care and service by the authorities.
Before the Super League three-week break, Nyasa Big Bullets, Mighty Be Forward Wanderers and Ntopwa FC were training at the venue for two hours each.
With such continued use, stadium management has been ignoring servicing the facility to improve its life span.
Sources at Kamuzu Stadium claimed that the facility was thoroughly maintained when the Flames were about to host Burkina Faso in a 2022 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifying Group B match on November 16.
“Before that, we also had a thorough exercise in 2019 when the Flames were also about to face South Sudan [in Afcon qualifier]. We hardly do serious maintenance here,” said one of the workers.
The source said they were supposed to be cleaning the artificial turf after use, especially after hosting games.
Kamuzu Stadium Manager Ireen Mkoko did not pick our calls whereas Assistant Manager Charles Mapange promised to convince his boss to grant us an interview but this did not happen.
When contacted for comment, Ministry of Sports spokesperson Simon Mbvundula promised to return to us but did not.
Meanwhile, Football Association of Malawi (Fam) Procurement, Logistics and Facility Officer Jossam Namwera warned that the turf risk, getting damaged if proper management procedures were not being followed.
“The requirement is that every 36 hours of continued use of the facility, we need to clean it using broom and the tractor and apply rubber and also make sure that the drainage system is in good working condition,” said Namwera, who is also an artificial turf specialist, having undergone training in Botswana, Kenya and Zimbabwe.
Government bought the facility in 2017 following pressure from some fans after the first Fifa-donated turf wore out in 2016, having been installed in 2008.
Flames thrashed Djibouti 8-1 on March 31 2008 on their first assignment at the venue since the installation of the first turf.
Government bought the second turf from Act Global, who also installed the facility in 2017, at around K318,164.000.
Peter Fote is a Sports Journalist with huge experience in radio and Television reporting, production and presentation. He once worked with Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) and is currently working for Times Media Group.