Kamuzu Stadium banned from hosting World Cup qualifiers

…Flames to play home matches abroad

Confederation of African Football (CAF) has advised Football Association of Malawi (FAM) to select a stadium outside the country where 2022 FIFA World Cup home qualifiers for Flames can be hosted.

This follows CAF’s decision to ban Kamuzu Stadium from hosting the qualifiers because it does not meet minimum stadium requirements set by CAF.

“Therefore, and considering that there are no other CAF approved stadiums for this type of competition in your country, a decision has been taken not to allow your national association to play the upcoming matches in your territory; hence, your federation will have to select approved stadiums in countries of other CAF member associations.

“You are kindly requested to inform CAF of the venue selected abroad for the upcoming qualifiers latest by 7th of May 2021,” CAF said in a letter dated May 2 and addressed to FAM general secretary Alfred Gunda.

According to CAF, if FAM fails to select a stadium, the continental body will do the selection for the Malawian association.

In the World Cup Qualifiers, Malawi’s group has Cameroun, Ivory Coast and Mozambique. Malawi will host Mozambique between 11 -14 June 2021. Three months later, the Flames will play Ivory Coast at home between 1-4 September. They will host Cameroun between 6 -9 October 2021.

Reacting to CAF’s decision, FAM president Walter Nyamilandu said the association will seek to get approval to use the Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe and pursue a waiver to still use Kamuzu Stadium for the next match in June.

He expressed hope that the continental body will be flexible and understand.

He, however, described the decision to ban Kamuzu Stadium from hosting the qualifiers as harsh.

“Some of the reasons that have been cited do not make sense at all like the condition of the artificial turf. The turf is in good playable condition and it hasn’t exceeded its shelf life.

“The major requirement to have fixed seats in the stands could have been looked into if government was given sufficient time,” he told the local the Nation Newspaper.

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