As the TNM Super League enters week seven, no match has been played at the newly-opened Bingu National Stadium which was supposed to ease match venues problems in the country.
Super League clubs have been shunning the venue, describing the 40 000 capacity stadium as expensive. The bone of contention is the stadium’s management demand for a surety of K2 million before the match.
After the match, the normal gate revenue sharing system in which the stadium owner gets 25 percent, clubs 25 percent, Football Association of Malawi (FAM) and Super League of Malawi (Sulom) 10 percent each while Malawi National Council of Sports gets five percent, still applies.
When asked why they are not fixing matches at the venue, Sulom general secretary Williams Banda said they cannot force clubs to play at the venue.
“It is clubs that indicate where they want to play their home matches. For example, Nyasa Big Bullets notified us that they will be playing at Kalulu Stadium following the closure of the Kamuzu Stadium.
“Silver Strikers closed their stadium [Silver Stadium] as it is undergoing renovations and they wrote us that they will be playing at Civo Stadium. We cannot just take their matches to Bingu National Stadium against their wish.”
Silver general secretary Thabo Chakaka-Nyirenda said they prefer Civo Stadium due to restrictive conditions at the Bingu National Stadium.
“We opted for Civo Stadium because it is cheaper to use than the Bingu Stadium. We have however, written them to consider reducing the charges,” he said.
“Using that facility is expensive. They demand K2 million upfront. But Super League matches are unpredictable. Some matches gross as low as K500 000, yet they want us to deposit K2 million.”
So far only Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has been using the Bingu National Stadium for its cup matches.
The venue hosted Airtel Top 8 quarter-final first leg between Silver Strikers and Big Bullets, semi-final between Silver and Kamuzu Barracks and the final
between the bankers and Be Forward Wanderers. FAM commercial a n d marketing director Limbani Matola said they are able to use the facility after the stadium owners softened up on the conditions for stadium use.
He said: “I am glad to report that after some lobbying and discussions BNS has now softened up their terms in line with standard practice.”
Sulom wanted the relaunch of the 2017 season match between Kamuzu Barracks and Be Forward Wanderers to be played at the venue.
However, the match was shifted to Civo Stadium at the eleventh hour after the stadium owners opted to host prayers than the match.
Stadium manager Eric Ning’ang’a was not available for comment, but when announcing the condition for the stadium use earlier this year, he said those who want to use the stadium must adhere to the conditions.
“This is not a facility that one cannot just walk in and use for free. We have conditions of service that apply to all stadium users. Mind you, apart from the pitch, we have other facilities for hiring and the conditions are not different. It’s not just Sulom [Super League of Malawi] or FAM [Football Association of Malawi].
“The only scenario where the stadium will be used for free is when there is a State function. We cannot force people to come and use the stadium, but we are confident that those that want use this magnificent facility and appreciate it, will see the need to pay the deposit,” Ning’ang’a had said.