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Stadium inspection begins, national teams risk playing in neutral venues

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Casper Jangale

Malawi National Football Team, the Flames, face the risk of playing the home match against Uganda in the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) away should Kamuzu Stadium fail to meet Confederation of African Football (Caf) minimum requirements.

This comes after Caf directed all member associations (MA) to do a proper inspection and send videos and photos of their match venues for approval for upcoming Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) assignments next month.

Football Association of Malawi (Fam) proposed Kamuzu Stadium as the only venue for the Uganda match, slated for March 29.

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Fam made the proposal as Bingu National Stadium (BNS) cannot host matches as it is being used as an isolation centre for Covid patients.

Mpira Stadium was not among the proposed venues.

Inspection of the facility [Kamuzu Stadium] will be conducted today by Fam Compliance Manager Casper Jangale and other officials.

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Jangale confirmed that inspection of the facility would be done today but could not shed more light.

However, Caf will approve the stadia for all member associations for match Day 5 and 6 based on photos and videos.

Failure to send the report to Caf Inspection Department by today will result in a fine.

In a circular from Caf to all member associations, all match venues must meet minimum requirements.

“Upon receiving the documents and reports, and based on the actual information provided to Caf, a decision will be taken concerning the venue for your upcoming Africa Cup of Nations 2021 Qualifiers. In case the proposed stadium does not fulfil the minimum requirements for this phase of the competition, your national team may be required to play their matches in an approved stadium in another country,” reads the circular from Caf.

Flames will face South Sudan on March 24 at a neutral venue for the away match next month as the hosts are not allowed to host matches.

Malawi are third in Group B with four points from four matches whereas Burkina Faso top the group with eight points followed by Uganda on seven points from the same number of matches.

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