…say it’s nothing to do with politics…
Nyasa Big Bullets and rivals Be Forward Wanderers have hailed Malawi’s president, Peter Mutharika, for promising to construct stadiums for the two teams.
On Sunday, the Malawi leader conducted a whistle stop tours in Blantyre where he directed Sports Ministry and Manpower Development, Malawi National Council of Sports and Blantyre City Council to allocate two sites for the construction of the two stadiums for the two teams.
Days after Mutharika’s pledge, the two teams held a joint press briefing today where they paid homage to Mutharika for the timely gesture, saying ever since these two teams were founded some decades ago, they have seen different governments coming and going but none decided to build two stadiums for the country’s oldest teams.
Wanderers through Butao said unlike Lilongwe based teams, they have never benefited from government subventions hence welcoming the idea to build two stadiums for the Blantyre based giants.
“You cannot talk about football in Malawi without Nyasa Big Bullets and Be Forward Wanderers. We have different administrations coming and going but none decided to build stadiums for us.
“We are very grateful to the president and we are wishing him all the success and we are very optimistic that the project will commence very soon,” he said.
Butao attributed failure to have more teams in the Southern Region to lack of infrastructure which gives an upper hand to the Central Region teams.
“In each and every year, Southern Region is losing teams in the top flight because we have fewer football infrastructures unlike in Lilongwe where teams have well-built infrastructures and this gives them an edge over us because when we go to Lilongwe to play games, teams with stadiums collects 25% ground levy so it’s like they have a double advantage over us,” he added.
The soft spoken General Secretary was also quick to refute reports that the gesture is a political move by government to win votes as the country is approaching towards tripartite elections in May this year.
“If you think this decision has something to do with politics then ask yourselves as to why government built stadiums for Civil Sporting Club, Silver Strikers and Blue Eagles. This shouldn’t be seen as politics just because it’s Bullets and Wanderers,” he concluded.
On his part, Bullets Chief Executive Officer Fleetwood Haiya said his club had already started the project and he is very optimistic that with the coming in of the government, there will be a progress.
“We already planned to build a stadium at Ngumbe in Lunzu and with the coming in of government, we are now very optimistic of turning our dream into a reality.
“We have planned to have a 25, 000 stadium seater capacity and we will advise the government to take on board what we designed so that it’s in line with what we want and we have also planned to build a 10, 000 stadium seater capacity at Kamba for our youth teams so we are very sure that this will be done considering that government has now come in,” he concluded.
Wanderers supporter’s General Secretary Sam Mponda concurred with his General Secretary, adding that for the two teams to use Kamuzu Stadium for training, they spend K40, 000 per day.
“It’s not easy to run these clubs without stadiums because if we want to use Kamuzu Stadium for training, we spend K40, 000 per day and if you calculate this amount of money for the entire season, then we are losing millions but we don’t have a choice hence thanking our president for this timely gesture and we will deal with anyone who will stand in our way,” he said.
Meanwhile, the two teams have already met Sports Ministry, BCC and Sports Council, with the construction sites set to be unveiled before Friday.