The Malawi government has finally come out of its shell, officially declaring that the giant Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre has been closedfor any activities, pending renovations on some spectator stands.
A press release, issued by the Ministry of Youth and Sports today, September 21, 2012 and signed by Principal Secretary II in the Ministry says it all:
“The Ministry of Youth and Sports would like to inform the general public that Kamuzu Stadium has officially been closed pending renovations. The decision has been arrived at following results and recommendations of the assessment of spectator stands by Structural
Engineers which has exposed failure on some of the open stands.
“The Ministry therefore wishes to advise all stakeholders that no activities will be held at the stadium until renovations are done. During this period, all international football matches will be played at CIVO Stadium. At the moment, CIVO Stadium is undergoing renovations to ensure that it can effectively host international football matches.
“The Ministry regrets any inconveniences this decision might have caused,” reads the brief statement from the Ministry issued to all stakeholders.
The communication from the Ministry puts to rest questions as to whether Football Association of Malawi (Fam) could still use the stadium for high profile international or local games.
The association had put forward a proposal to government to use the stadium for next month’s Africa Cup of Nations second qualifying leg between Malawi’s Flames and Ghana and limit the number of spectators entering the stadium.
However, failure by the Ministry to provide results of the assessment by structural engineers in time led to the local football governing body submitting to Caf that the match will be played at Civo Stadium in Lilongwe.
Flames’ coach Kinnah Phiri and Fam president Walter Nyamilandu described the development as a major setback, claiming the Flames planned to take advantage of the artificial turf to reverse the 2-0 deficit suffered by the Flames in Accra, Ghana.
Surprisingly, the Flames failed to take advantage of the artificial turf a couple of months ago, when they came from behind to force Nigeria to a 1-all draw.