Silver Stadium is slowly degenerating into an eyesore as bushes are freely overgrowing its pitch with about three months to the new season.
The stadium was undergoing renovations for last month’s African Union Sports Council Region 5 Games but works stalled after it was deemed unfit to host matches.
Our recent visit to the stadium discovered that the main pitch was in a poor state.
Apart from bushes growing freely, the facility needs to be levelled as it was dug up in some areas on the running track and on the pitch.
This means the facility is also racing against time to be approved for the 2023 season.
The government was renovating the facility through the Region 5 Youth Games Local Organising Committee (LOC) after an agreement with owners Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM).
However, the committee is yet to hand back the facility to the owners a month after the event due to its poor state.
LOC chairperson Dennis Mombera said the renovation works will be completed before handing the facility over to the owners.
’’Although the facility did not host the Games, we are still under an obligation to complete renovation works. Our technical people went there this week to assess it and we are waiting for the report,’’ Mombera said.
Delays in completing renovation works at the facility could force Silver to play matches away from home next season.
RBM spokesperson Ralph Tseka asked for a questionnaire before commenting on the matter.
Another Lilongwe stadium, Civo, was also earmarked to host football matches during the Region 5 Youth Games.
However, both facilities failed the test and all football matches took place at Bingu National Stadium.
Organisers of the regional showpiece were particularly unhappy with the state of Civo and Silver pitches, which were deemed too bumpy for an international tournament.
Football Association of Malawi (Fam) is yet to announce dates for inspection of match venues ahead of the new season.
Fam Compliance Manager Casper Jangale was not readily available for comment yesterday.
Last season, some Lilongwe-based teams played the majority of their matches away from home due to lack of proper match venues.