NEWS | SPORTS
By Lusekero Mhango
As the battle for three points and supremacy in the TNM Super League is set to resume in April, Karonga United and Chitipa United are at risk of being barred from using the Karonga Stadium as their home ground following concerns over the dilapidated state of the facility.
A high level inspection team led by Football Association of Malawi’s (FAM) Transfer and Marching System and club licensing Manager, Casper Jangale made the revelation when it recently visited the pitch to assess its suitability to hosting high level super league matches.
The venue has been chosen by both Karonga United, and Chitipa United to be their home ground.
In a post-inspection interview, Jangale said the venue was only 60% fit for the forthcoming tournament.
He said most areas around the facility, most notably the playing turf, and the boundary fence needed some faceliftings.
“If you look at the entry and exit points, there is need to cover them and the state of the pitch is in a bad condition and we highlighted this last year in our last inspection but it seems the works are still outstanding thus we have warned and given the stadium management 20 days to work on the issues we have highlighted because they are very important,” a frustrated Jangale chirped.
According to Jangale, if the areas will not be worked upon in the set deadline, then the stadium will not be certified fit for hosting the matches this forthcoming season.
“It’s about time we started not approving these stadiums or facilities because we are here to ensure that our football is developing. We these rules must be followed by the necessary authorities and in this case the stadium managers,” he articulated.
Reacting to FAM’s warning, Karonga stadium development committee chairperson Kossam Munthali, said the committee is appreciative to FAM for their honesty and their desire to see the stadium in good condition and ready to host matches.
Munthali said, along with the committee, they would push hard with the district council to fix the minor issues that FAM has asked in the required time frame.
“We’ll ensure that we fix everything before the expiration of the deadline,” promises he.
The 5000 capacity stadium was officially opened in January 2018 and last season it hosted a number of notable matches including among Karonga United’s clashes with Nyasa Big Bullets, and BeForward Wanderers.