Malawi National Council of Sports Owns BAT ground
The Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS) gets a complete proprietorship of the British American Tobacco (BAT) ground in Blantyre.
The council’s Acting Executive Secretary, Henry Mereka, confirmed the development and added that Council had already started renovation and rehabilitation works of the facility whereby it had allocated amount of k120 million to change the old ground to a modern stadium and increase its capacity.
“The British American Tobacco (BAT) donated the ground to the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture which the ministry handed over to us. But we were failing to carry out infrastructure works since it was still under the BAT ownership as title deeds.
Few weeks ago, the council received an assurance from the ministry of full ownership of the sport facility and the secretary of the Council disclosed that they will continue with the works they started knowingly.
“The first phase which started with fence construction is almost finished so as ticketing and security rooms. The next phase will focus on the pitch and repositioning of goalposts from East-West to North-South and refurbishing the terraces,” he said.
The executive secretary said, despite construction works Sports Council is still accommodating training and games at the match venue.
“We are aware of the shortage of sports venues in Blantyre and we do not want to worsen the problem. We feel that, since the works are centered on construction of the fence, training and games can still be accommodated. We will only close to the users when we will be working on the pitch”, he said.
The general secretary for the sole users of the ground, Southern Region Football Association (SRFA) Kingsley Simbeye had this to say when he received the news.
“Upgrading the stadium will ensure that the southern region has quality football venues that will benefit both lower leagues and super league teams as the renovated pitch will be strong enough to support any pressure of the game”, he said.