Someone posted pictures on Facebook showing Nyasa Big Bullets and Mafco players on their team benches drenched of the rains that poured during their TNM Super League match at Kamuzu Stadium on Sunday.
The question posed was, yes we are poor but can’t the powers that be please organise some properly constructed shelters for both benches to shield them from the rains and most times the scorching heat?
There are some benches that came together with the artificial turf of Kamuzu Stadium that are lying idle there probably because they were damaged. Why not rehabilitate them to usable state?
If they cannot be rehabilitated, why not ask some of these innovative carpenters from Ndirande to take a look at the designs of these damaged benches and make new ones?
Do we need to import these very simple players’ and the technical panels’ seats? Do we have to embarrass ourselves by ignoring this part of what makes football the beautiful game?
And then there is the players’ tunnnel from the dressing room — it is in such an ugly state because the decorations, which came through SuperSport when it beamed some of the Flames’ international matches, have ben defaced by vandals. Why not make sure there is some semblance of decorum in what we are supposed to do?
Why do we need foreigners to come and decorate our stadium?
The terraces at the stadium have been demarcated to deter fans from using the upper parts of the terraces for security reasons because they need to be structurally re-enforced. But still there are times that tickets are oversold and the fans are forced to risk their lives by climbing over the demarcation fences — why is that allowed?
The demarcation was done at the insistence of both Confederation of African Football (Caf) and Fifa for the safety of the fans and by allowing tickets to be oversold, it means the powers that be are defying the orders from these two football governing bodies.
With the coming in of live beaming of games by our TV stations, Caf and Fifa are seeing what we are doing. I am in several whatsapp groups of African football writers and several journalists, especially those from the Cosafa region, have asked me about those demarcations after noticing them when they watched some of the TNM Super League games through Beta TV.
It was really very hard to explain after my initial explanation that the demarcations were for the fans’ safety because the structures were deemed weak by both Caf and Fifa when these journalists asked why the fans are still allowed to occupy these areas in the first place if they are not safe for them.
I had to be truthful with them by revealing that tickets are oversold and the fans take the risk to get good vantage point to watch the games. Please, don’t consider me as unpatriotic by saying the truth — as ajournalist, I can’t lie to them.
The powers that be, we know there are so many things we need to make our football venues as glamorous and safe as possible and that lack of funds is the huge factor that deters us to make it right, but having decent players’ benches can be made possible with the meagre funds you have.
Players on the benches are not supposed to be soaked by rain water but kept warm until they are ready to be used.
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