Football fans from around Blantyre and the entire southern region, may now afford a sigh of relief with news that the installation of the artificial turf at the Kamuzu Stadium could start next week.
All other rehabilitation works at the stadium are almost done except the turf installation which had been delayed by persistent rainfall in the city.
But according to Turf Specialist for the Football Association of Malawi (FAM), Jossam Namwera, who is the local contact person for the United States firm, ACT Global, hired to plant the K400 million turf, the work could begin next week when the experts are expected to arrive.
“This week we had ACT’s representative for Africa, Goran Blagojevic on a four day visit. He came to observe and be briefed on the current rainfall pattern and we told him the rainy season is approaching the end, which is quite okay to get started.
“And he assured us that a team of experts led by one Dutch national will be arriving possibly next week or the other with all the necessary equipment to commence the work,” he said.
Namwera further explained that the work will take four to six weeks.
“We will not be starting afresh because the foundation is already there, so six weeks should be the maximum period,” said Namwera.
The synthetic turf arrived in the country on 20 January this year and was delivered at the stadium six days later.
It was at the stadium where Minister of Youth, Labour, Sports and Manpower Development Francis Kasaila assured the soccer fraternity that the stadium would be ready for use again before the start of the 2018 TNM Super League season.
But with the new campaign set to roll out on April 14, it might take six to eight weeks of the season before action returns at Blantyre’ Soccer Mecca.
Two days ago, a number of football fans stormed the Malawi National Council of Sports offices in Blantyre to vent their frustration on the delayed commencement of the turf installation.