By Vincent Khonje
Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Football Association of Malawi (FAM) officials visited Mchinji Stadium on Friday to offer guidance to the MchinjiDistrict Council and the stadium committee.
The Ministry’s spokesperson, who is also Infrastructure Development Officer, McMillan Mwale, emphasised insights, primarily focusing on safety concerns and stressed the significance of building a stadium that meets international standards.
“When constructing a stadium, there is a lot that goes into it in terms of time and money, as it would be a waste to construct something that cannot be utilised due to a lack of standards. There is a need for the stadium to address safety issues comprehensively,” he noted.
FAM Technical Officer McWilliams Nkunika expressed his concerns about the stadium’s pitch set up and facilities for teams and officials.
Nkunika highlighted several key areas for improvement, including the proximity of the perimeter fence to the pitch, the absence of benches for teams, lack of a tunnel from the dressing room to the pitch, undersized goalpost poles, and the absence of a warm-up area for players.
He also touched on some of the safety issues that need to be worked on.
“We recommend increasing the number of gates into the stadium, and on the perimeter fence, introducing a separation fence between open and VIP stands, ensuring two dressing rooms for referees to accommodate both male and female officials, and providing a dedicated gate for team buses behind the changing room,” said Nkunika.
He also said there is need to have toilets on both ends of the stadium and filling of a mixture of sand and black soil on the pitch.
Petro Njolomole, representing the local community, expressed gratitude for the valuable insights provided by the visitingofficials.
“We appreciate the guidance offered by the officials, and we are committed to working together to transform Mchinji Stadium into a top-notch facility,” he affirmed.
District Sports Officer Martin Panyanja said, as a council, all the suggestions that have been put across have been noted.
“We have taken note of what we have to work on and once the funds are available, things will be worked on,” said Panyanja.
As the construction project progresses, the community eagerly awaits the stadium’s transformation into a hub for sporting excellence, one that adheres to international standards.