Minister of Youth and Sports Enock Chihana officially re-opened Kamuzu Stadium on Saturday, December 22, 2012 four months after it was closed pending on renovations on some spectator’s stands.
Government closed the Kamuzu Stadium in September this year pending renovations on some spectators’ stands
However, the closure of the stadium did not go well with Blantyre based soccer lovers, who confronted government to open the stadium by sealing the condemned stands.
The soccer fans cried foul of spending a lot of money travelling to places like Nchalo and Balaka to watch their teams.
Chihana, who was accompanied by the Super League Association of Malawi (Sulom) president Innocent Bottomani, re-opened the stadium that it can now start hosting TNM Super League games for the mean ime as government is sourcing funds to completely
renovate the affected stands.
In his remarks, Chihana pleaded with the soccer fans to avoid invading the sealed areas warning that government will be forced to shut down the stadium again.
“My plea to the chief supporters for Big Bullets and Mighty Wanderers is that make sure that security is tight during games because we do not want fans to invade the danger zones. Once l hear that people invaded the no go zones areas l will close the stadium immediately,”
The Minister also spend some time to civic educate the soccer fans that it was not proper for them to force government open the stadium because they own the facility.
Chihana gave an example of Wembley Stadium in United Kingdom that there is no way Liverpool fans, Arsenal fans or Manchester United fans can interfere on the stadium as it was in this country because they are aware it belongs to government.
“This stadium belongs to government and as Big Bullets or Wanderers fans you have no any authority to interfere with it. We closed this stadium because as government we value life than anything else for our citizens. If this stadium was for Wanderers or Bullets it could have
been proper for you to interfere with it,” said Chihana.
Instead, the minister reminded the soccer fans that in other countries like Zambia they do not allow League games to take place at a government venue like the Kamuzu Stadium.
“You will not hear that at Independence Stadium in Zambia, clubs are allowed to use the facility like what we do here. Infact, we were supposed to stage only international games at Kamuzu Stadium. Bullets and Wanderers’ were supposed to have their own stadiums not relying on a government stadium like the Kamuzu Stadium,” said Chihana.
Chihana advised Bullets and Wanderers to build their own stadiums in order to avoid misunderstandings of such a nature next time.
Chihana also revealed that government will construct a new stadium in the commercial city of Malawi.
“We will construct a new stadium in Blantyre in order to have two big stadiums in the city. We are aware that you have a few football venues in Blantyre and do not think that government is just staying idle,” he said.
He went on to stress that the Kamuzu Stadium will remain where it is disputing rumours that there were plans to demolish it and build it somewhere else.
“Some people were suggesting that we demolish the whole stadium and build it somewhere else in the same city, but let me tell you this, we cannot shift the stadium at this place because we need to preserve history. Government will renovate the whole of this stadium and it will remain here,” said Chihana.
Sulom president Innocent Bottomani hailed government for re-opening the stadium and assured Blantyre based fans that the first game to take place at the venue will be between Big Bullets and Mafco F.C tomorrow ( Sunday, December 23, 2012).
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