Progress on the new stadium to be constructed in Blantyre which is estimated to cost between $100 million (about K73.4 billion) and $150 million (about K110.1 billion) will be stalled with diversion of the starter funding of K1.5 billion which was allocated in the 2018/19 budget going towards rehabilitation of Kamuzu Stadium in the same city.
Part of the Njamba Freedom Park has since been identified as the site for the new stadium and the construction is expected to take about two years.
But this year’s budget allocation to the ministry for sports infrastructure development for the new stadium has gone to Kamuzu Stadium for installing an artificial turf and repairing facilities.
Treasury spokeman Davis Sado said they felt the need to prioritise the Kamuzu Stadium rehabilitation.
“That is why we had to divert the funding allocated to the new stadium,” he said.
The rehabilitation of Kamuzu Stadium will be a big relief for Blantyre-based TNM Super League outfits Nyasa Big Bullets, Be Forward Wanderers and Azam Tigers, who spend a lot to fulfil their home fixtures at distant venues such as Mulanje Park in Mulanje, Kalulu Stadium in Nchalo, Chikwawa.
President Peter Mutharika promised to construct a new stadium in Blantyre when he was campaigning for presidency prior to the 2014 Tripartite Elections.
Once the new stadium is completed, Malawi will surely be able to host the Africa Cup of Nations or any other tournaments within the region as the country also have the state-of-the-art Bingu National Stadium.