The Flames will host Mozambique at the Orlando Stadium in Johannesburg on September 7, in their first home match of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 African Second Round Qualifiers.
FAM General Secretary Alfred Gunda has confirmed the development after the Confederation of African Football (CAF) did not accept FAM’s appeal to reconsider its decision to ban Bingu National Stadium.
Gunda said FAM has no choice but prepare to play in South Africa as well as continue fixing BNS for next matches.
“This is not what we expected but we have no choice. We should just bite the bullet and be serious with fixing the pitch.
“There will be another inspection in September and We have a chance of hosting the remaining matches of the World Cup at BNS once the pitch is well attended to. This is our last chance to redeem ourselves. It is giving us hope that BNS will be back soon.
“On the Mozambique game, as directed by CAF, we have opted for Orlando Stadium and we have since confirmed our booking with the venue owners,” said Gunda.
According to CAF, the appeal was not accepted mainly because the period is too short for them to delay the confirmation of the match.
“Considering that the matchday is in less than 30 days, CAF is not in a position to delay any further the confirmation of the match venue for the visiting team nor grant an approval based on the current state of the stadium.
“The selection of the venue, respective date and time of the match, has to be set well in advance. As you know, this has a direct impact on the preparation of match logistics and operations by all the concerned parties.
“Considering the above and due to the urgency of the matter, the stadium ban appeal of FAM is not accepted and the decision in the CAF letter dated 5 August 2021 is upheld, hence your federation will have to select an approved stadium in a country of another CAF Member Association,” reads part of the CAF letter dated September 8 and signed by Secretary General Véron Mosengo-Omba.
FAM said on Tuesday it chose South Africa as alternative home ground because the country provides the best and convenient options in terms of match organization and team logistics.
The Flames are set to begin their World Cup group D campaign against Cameroun on September 4 away in Yaoundé.