Malawi’s Flames will relocate from their ‘home’ Orlando Stadium in South Africa back to Lilongwe’s Bingu National Stadium.
The relocation follows the Confederation of African Football (CAF)’s temporary approval of the Lilongwe venue to host international matches starting with the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers.
The Flames hosted the better chunk of their 2022 World Cup qualifiers at Orlando last year after CAF had condemned Bungu stadium as unfit for international engagements.
Now, a statement from CAF Development Director Raul Chipenda has confirmed the temporary approval of Bingu National Stadium.
“Please note that the approved stadium will be set as the venue to host the match Group D-Malawi v Ethiopia related to the group stage qualifiers of the Africa Cup of Nations Cote d’Ivoire 20223 matchday 1,” Chipenda said in a letter addressed to the Football Association of Malawi (FAM).
“Kindly find attached in Annexe A, the stadium comments and remarks to be addressed in the coming period by the stadium management in order to ensure that the stadium is permanently approved in the future for CAF competitions. In case all the works are not completed in time, CAF may decide to review its decision.”
FAM General Secretary Alfred Gunda has since commended venue owners, and the Malawi government, for ensuring that the stadium gets certified.
“It was important to have the pitch certified for international matches so that the Flames play home matches in Malawi to manage costs and allow Malawians to support their beloved Flames in their backyard. We will not relax but go back on the ground to work on all the shortfalls so that we should get a permanent approval,” Gunda said.
Malawi are in Group A also alongside Egypt and Guinea. The first home game against Ethiopia is scheduled for the end of the month.
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