- Differ on Chilomoni Stadium’s capability
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) and Super League of Malawi (Sulom) have differed on Chilomoni Stadium’s capability to host high-prolife matches.
Sulom general secretary Williams Banda said at the weekend they shifted the TNM Super League match between Nyasa Big Bullets and Kamuzu Barracks (KB) from the venue to Kalulu Stadium in Nchalo due to security concerns.
He said: “In our case, there were some security concerns during the match between Azam Tigers and Be Forward Wanderers at Chilomoni Stadium. That is why we felt we could have the match between Big Bullets and KB played at the venue.
“For matches involving other teams, there is no problem, but those involving Wanderers and Bullets who command a huge following, it is a bit tricky.”
The Nomads versus Tigers match saw hundreds of fans forcing their way in due to security lapses.
But FAM says the venue is capable of hosting such matches and has fixed today’s Carlsberg Cup match between Super League sides Nyasa Big Bullets and Civil Sporting Club at the venue.
FAM general secretary Alfred Gunda said the venue was inspected and security measures have been put in place to ensure that there are no incidents.
Initially, FAM announced that the match between Bullets and Civil would be played at Kalulu Stadium.
However, in the latest fixture released on Monday, FAM has rescheduled the match to the 8 000 capacity stadium.
Gunda said what matters is to evaluate the risks and decide on the precautions to be taken.
He said: “You are aware that when it comes to matches security is a priority. That’s why we have had big matches played at small venues. For example, we had Airtel Top 8 quarter-final between Nyasa Big Bullets and Silver Strikers played at Mulanje Stadium without any incident.”
But Banda said for the venue to host such a match, there would be need for maximum security.
“Honestly, we do not have a capacity to provide that kind of security. So, we feel prevention is better than cure,” he said.
The home team, Bullets, who will be playing at the venue for the first time since it was refurbished by stadium owners, FAM, say they are taking the match as a litmus test.
General secretary Albert Chigoga said a decision will be made based on today’s evaluation.
He said: “For us, we want to see if we can play our games at Chilomoni Stadium. We have been spending a lot by playing outside Blantyre. We just want to see if it is safe to play there. A decision will be made depending on the outcome.”
To restrict entrance, FAM has in the past hiked charges for such matches to K2 000. However, this time the association has maintained the K1 000 charges for open stands.
“This is a midweek match and we anticipate that not many people will come, hence the K1 000 is okay,” Gunda said.
Bullets and Wanderers have been forced to play outside Blantyre following the closure of Kamuzu Stadium.