CAF inspects Bingu Stadium ahead of 2023 Côte d’Ivoire AFCON qualifiers

Bingu National Stadium, which twice failed inspection standards of both FIFA and Confederation of African Football (CAF) for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers last year, is again being inspected ahead of the next month’s 2023 Côte d’Ivoire Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers.

A statement on Football Association of Malawi (FAM) posted on its Facebook page, says CAF’s stadium inspector Ivan Lengwe Mumba from Zambia arrived in the country on Wednesday and inspected the stadium the following day.

He was also expected to inspect Nankhaka and Silver Stadiums, which are designated as training pitches.

The inspection exercise

In October last year, FIFA declared Bingu National Stadium for World Cup qualifiers and was ordered to choose an alternative venue for the Flames outside Malawi, which FAM chose South Africa.

CAF was on a continuous assessment of all African countries to ensure all standards are met and also barred some venues for security and safety operations.

The report by FAM on Facebook indicate that Mumba concentrated on the field and other facilities like dressing rooms, media and medical facilities and the condition of floodlights.

In the report, FAM general secretary Alfred Gunda is quoted as saying the inspection looked promising and chances of Bingu Stadium passing the CAF test were high as both the association and Government have worked on shortfalls found last year.

Flames coach Marinica

Mumba is expected to submit his report to CAF for its final decision this weekend.

Meanwhile, Flames coach Mario Marinica named a 27-man provisional squad of local based players which will go into camp on Monday to start preparations for two of the 2023 AFCON qualifiers against Ethiopia and Guinea.

In a report FAM website, Marinica is quoted as saying continuity and consistency will be key in the Flames’ preparations for the 2023 AFCON qualifiers — after the team’s excellent performance at the 2021 Cameroun AFCON finals held from January.

The Flames qualified for the Cameroun finals under coach Meck Mwase but in Cameroun, the mantle was given to Marinica — who was initially engaged as technical advisor.

Mwase was since relieved of his duties and was replaced by Marinica as head coach.

Marinica is quoted as saying: “We will try as much as possible to build on continuity and consistency and at the same time to look to get new faces. Like I said before I want everyone to be here on merit and based on performances regardless of age and clubs where they are coming from.

“If anyone in the country plays well and proves that he has potential, we will not hesitate to give them a chance to prove their capabilities at national team level.

“We are looking at players that are in-form but also bridge the gap by looking at the future. We will continue assessing players how they are preforming and if people show they are good enough they will be called.

“We have players and staff members we worked with in AFCON, but they are also new ones who are for the future. I cast my net very wider for the coaches and every single one of them deserves to be here from a performance-based point of view and they have to continue performing to remain here.”

The report further says the Flames will have a two-phase camping session with the first one expected to end on May 22 4, while the second phase will include foreign based players to be announced next week from May 22 all the way through to the match days.

Malawi will host Ethiopia on June 2 before facing Guinea four days later.

The full local based squad:


Ernest Kankhobwe, Clever Nkungula, Charles Thom


Stanley Sanudi, Paul Ndlovu, Blessings Mpokera, Alick Lungu, Mark Fodya, Kelvin Kadzinje, Gomezgani Chirwa, Frank Chikufenji, Hadji Wali, Precious Sambani, Patrick Banda


Chimwemwe Idana, Yamikani Chester, Schumacher Kuwali, Micium Mhone, Chikoti Chirwa, Innocent Msowoya, Chawanangwa Gumbo,


Stain Dave, Anthony Mfune, Mphatso Kamanga, Gaddie Chirwa, Chiukepo Msowoya, Zeliat Nkhoma

Technical  Panel

Marian Mario Marinica (head of technical panel), Patrick Mabedi (assistant coach), Franco Ndawa (assistant coach), Clwyd Jones (assistant coach/sports psychologist/data analyst), James Sangala (technical support manager), Major Rodgers Mhongo (assistant technical support manager), Victor Mphande (goalkeeper trainer), Gift Ligomeka (team doctor), Chikondi Mandalasi (physiotherapist), Peter Mgangira, Enos Chatama (understudy coaches), Lawrence Waya (intern data analyst)

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