The re-opening of Blantyre’s soccer mecca, Kamuzu Stadium, is likely to delay further following challenges dogging installation of the new turf due to changing weather patterns.
The installation exercise ground to a halt after the contractor, ACT Global, run out of materials such as rubber particles and adhesives last month.
The development forced foreign experts doing the job to leave the site as they had nothing to do.
The materials have since been delivered to the facility but local turf expert, Jossam Namwera, told The Daily Times on Thursday that the process of installing the rubber particles on the turf requires dry weather.
Namwera’s sentiments mean that, with current weather conditions, it would be difficult to complete the installation exercise.
This is contrary to expectations that the Stadium would be ready by the end of the first round of the TNM Super League.
The government had also promised the soccer fraternity that games would be played at the stadium within the first round of the top flight league.
Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services Director, Joram Nkhokwe, said wet and cold weather conditions being experienced across the country would persist until September.
This means installation works can only be concluded in October when it is expected to be dry.
Commenting on the turn of events, football analyst Higger Mkandawire accused the government and the contractor of lacking seriousness on the matter.
“When planning about the project, they could have considered the weather aspect. Shifting the blame to weather patterns does not make sense.
“Blantyre-based teams are suffering because they are spending a lot on travelling outside the city to play their home games. It is sad that people were given false hopes on the re-opening of Kamuzu Stadium,” Mkandawire said.
Football Association of Malawi Facility Manager, Casper Jangale, said, once the renovation exercise is completed, the stadium will have to be certified by world soccer-governing body, Fifa, before it can be used for hosting matches.
He told The Nation last week that, currently, the capacity of the stadium has been trimmed to 14,600 from 22,000.
Kamuzu Stadium was closed early last year after Fam declared it unfit to host matches after the lifespan of its artificial turf expired.
Ever since, the government has been missing numerous deadlines to have it re-opened.
The development has forced Blantyre Super League teams to play their home games in far away places such as Mulanje, Balaka, Nchalo and Lilongwe.
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