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Ray of hope for Chilomoni stadium

Chilomoni Stadium in Blantyre remains in a dilapidated state following failure by its owners to rehabilitate the facility.

However, a new lease of life could be on the horizon for one of the country’s oldest football venues following Mighty Mukuru Wanderers and Super League of Malawi (Sulom) agreement for the club to take over the stadium.

MDC Stadium

The Nomads have agreed to renovate the stadium, Weekend Nation has learnt.

Wanderers spokesperson Clement Stambuli confirmed the development, saying the club has engaged a consultant to come up with the bills of quantity for the project.

He said: “Yes, we have an agreement with Sulom to use the ground. But we cannot just start, considering its state.

“We want to rehabilitate the stadium first and possibly expand it. But first we need to know how much it will cost because the facility is in bad state right now.”

The stadium, initially owned by Football Association Malawi (FAM), last hosted a TNM Super League match over five years ago just after it was handed over by Surestream Academy, who were leasing the facility.

However, vandalism following the departure of Surestream left the facility in desolation.

In 2019, FAM handed the stadium to Sulom, who promised to renovate it and resume hosting league matches to increase revenue collection.

But four years later, the league-runners have only occupied a room as their office while the rest of the facility remains in ruins.

The stadium wall fell. The pitch and dressing rooms are unusable. There is no water and the structure itself needs rehabilitation.

But Stambuli said the Nomads have already acquired funding for its renovations.

He said: “The resources are there. We have big plans for Chilomoni Stadium.”

Sulom president Tiya Somba-Banda confirmed the agreement with Wanderers.

He blamed the delays to renovate the facility on Covid-19.

Said Somba-Banda: “We had a plan for Chilomoni Stadium. We wanted to refurbish the facility.

“The renovations, which included the wall, pitch, dressings rooms and tunnels were pegged at K35 million that time.

“FAM promised to help us with funding towards the works and it was included in their budget. But then Covid-19 came and everything was put on hold. The money meant for this project was diverted towards Covid-19 relief programme.”

As Chilomoni Stadium is idle, four Blantyre-based teams scramble for Kamuzu Stadium which was condemned by Fifa due to safety reasons.

The other match venue, Chiwembe’s Mpira Stadium with a 5 000-capacity, is shunned by big teams such as Wanderers and Nyasa Big Bullets.

Only Mighty Tigers and Sable Farming use the stadium.

Stambuli said once the facility is open, other teams will be allowed to use it.

Chilomoni Stadium was formerly MDC Stadium, named after Malawi Development Corporation who built it for their defunct outfit MDC United.

The facility was donated to FAM following the disbanding of the club in the early 1990s.

Wanderers took over the stadium in mid 2000s, but left it in a dilapidated state with millions in unpaid lease agreement.

The stadium stayed idle for several years before Surestream Petroleum Company invested over K250 million in rehabilitating it for its academy established in 2012

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