Soccer fanatics from the commercial city of Malawi, Blantyre, are in high spirits following revelations that opening of Bingu National Stadium in the capital Lilongwe will be delayed.
The state of the art infrastructure is in its final stages but government’s new plans have frustrated Lilongwe dwellers who expected it to be launched sooner.
The facility was considered to be a possible host for Malawi national football team Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) encounter against Guinea on 28th March but Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre will likely accommodate the clash of the titans.
Kamuzu Stadium has been the Flames’ home for many years hence the planned relocation to the capital has proven to be a bitter pill to swallow for Blantyre supporters.
The last time the Blantyre sports facility hosted an international game was in October last year when Malawi was playing Tanzania in the Fifa World Cup preliminary stages and it was rumoured to be the last Flames match at the pitch.
In an interview with Malawi24, soccer loving fans from Blantyre have expressed happiness over government’s decision to postpone the launch. They said this will allow them to enjoy a few national team games, the only thing they will miss once Bingu Stadium opens its doors.
“It’s not that we are not happy with construction of the Bingu stadium in Lilongwe, no! We are, only that we are used to watching the Flames at Kamuzu. All we want is to enjoy a few games before permanent switch to the capital happens,” said Sugzo Khunga from Blantyre.
Another Blantyre soccer fanatic said: “It was hard to accept that the Tanzania game last year was the last one, so it’s like we have been given bonuses, I can’t wait to watch the remaining few games.”
The commercial city was considered to have the best morale whenever the national team is playing but that has since faded away as people only cheer when results are favouring the Flames.
The Malawi national football team has four fixtures to fulfil in the AFCON qualifying campaign. They date Guinea on 25 March before playing a return match at Kamuzu Stadium on 28 March. After a two month break, they will lock horns with Zimbabwe in Harare on 4th June before playing Swaziland at home on 3rd September in their last match of the qualifying campaign.