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Minister condemns continued theft, vandalism of properties in various football stadiums

By Prince Banda

Lilongwe, March 09, MANA: Whilst the refurbishment of various football and other sports fraternities are in progress, , Minister for Youth and Sports Uchizi Mkandawire has appealed  to Malawians to stop vandalising  property  in stadiums as such affect sporting activities in the country.

He made these remarks in Lilongwe, Wednesday, during a ministerial official tour to appreciate the progress of the maintenance works  at Bingu National Stadium (BNS), Silver Stadium as well as Civo Stadium under Region-5 sports infrastructure development.

Some of the works include; refurbishment of stadium lights to accommodate sporting activities at night, Redressing of the football pitches, construction of indoor basketball court at Civo and maintenance of various properties which were either gone out of age or were vandalised.

Mkandawire said  the country needs to meet some standards  in stadiums as articulated by FIFA, so that the nation can host international competitions which can help to  revive the country’s economy.

“It is a sad to see our country losing opportunities for generating revenue just because our stadiums are in deliberate state of shambles. Worse still is the fact that government invest a lot to see through maintenance of equipment which would have otherwise be avoided,” Mkandawire said.

However the tour revealed that at least 70 percent of the total proposed maintenance works in these three stadiums is already done and the remaining 30 percent will be continued with funding from this newly proposed fiscal budget.

“I am glad that the works are progressing well and that almost 70 percent of the total work is already done. However, we are hoping that this newly proposed budget will be able to provide us with about 2.6 billion Kwacha to complete the remaining works,” He added.

In a separate interview Denis Mombela, the Local Organising Committee Chairperson for Region -5  revealed that all the proposed maintenance works would have been finalised if it were not for the financial challenges and other associated hiccups the project has been facing.

“The project has faced a number of challenges of which the main one has been funding. We proposed for at least K3.7 billion as infrastructure budget but in December last year we were given K1.1 billion Kwacha only,” Mombela said.

Meanwhile, the football pitch at Siver Stadium the home of Bankers, is still in bad state as the works to refurbish are still underwayhence clashing  with the Super-League calendar which is roughly expected to commence in April.

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