Blantyre football enthusiasts and surrounding districts are set for exciting times in 2018/19 soccer season following revelations by government that the giant Kamuzu Stadium would be open to the public before the Super League kicks off in April.
The Minister of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development disclosed this to journalists when he inspected the ailing facility Friday. Initially, he had projected that the stadium would be ready for use in February.
He said the timeframe for Kamuzu Stadium renovations has been extended to March and the facility will be ready for use in April. This was also confirmed by Pabe Construction managing director Paul Madula.
“We are making very good progress. We can assure football fans that the stadium will be back to hosting matches before the season kicks off. We are determined and with instructions from the State President Prof. Peter Mutharika we are hopeful that Kamuzu Stadium will be opened to teams in the southern region mid March,” he assured.
Kasaila said government has also entered an agreement with the contractor to complete the remaining work before the season kicks off.
He said the major areas of renovations cover the toilets, drainage system, dressing rooms, tunnels from the dressing rooms, VIP and Covered Stands.
“In the long-term, it was also suggested that we could demolish the condemned stands and replace them one at a time. These are some of the plans that can be pursued,” said Kasaila.
The minister said the works were estimated to cost K292 million, “but the figure could rise“.
The minister, therefore, urged the community around the stadium and country as a whole to take good care of the facility once rehabilitation works are completed.
“Government always feels sad to see people vandalizing the stadium. We are appealing to all soccer loving fans in Blantyre to desist from vandalizing equipment at the stadium because it is the same people that will complain once the stadium is closed,” appealed the minister.
Kasaila further reminded Malawians that apart from rehabilitating the Kamuzu Stadium, government would also construct a new stadium at Njamba Freedom Park in the city.
He said government was aware that Kamuzu Stadium was too old, saying it was government’s responsibility not to suffocate teams in Blantyre by keeping the stadium closed.
“For the meantime, we would like our teams in Blantyre to use Kamuzu Stadium as they are waiting for a new stadium which will be constructed at Njamba Freedom Park,” he said.
Earlier, Kasaila presided over the handover ceremony of the artificial turf which finally was presented to government from MPK Freight.
Two containers carrying the artificial turf arrived exactly at 11:30 a.m. at the stadium before the materials were handed over to the ministerFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :