The Football Association of Malawi (FAM) says Nsanje Youth Centre once rehabilitated will help to bridge the gap between elite and amateur teams in the lower shire.
FAM President Walter Nyamilandu Manda made the remarks on Wednesday during the ground breaking ceremony for the FIFA Foundation funded project .
He said: “ We want to bridge the gap between the elite teams and amateur teams and we have seen other districts doing very well, like Chitipa, Karonga and Dedza and this is a sign that if we develop the communities and the districts by having such infrastructures, performance will improve and Nsanje will benefit a lot especially the likes of Nsanje United which is already number two in the league will have a very big chance to go into the Super League and perform wonders. The future of Malawi football is not in town, the future of our football is in the rural areas and we need to bridge that gap by empowering the communities because that’s where the talent and population is. I am happy that my vision and inspiration are being fulfilled.”
In his remarks, Minister of Youth and Sports, Uchizi Mkandawire hailed FAM for the project saying government alone can not manage to improve the sports infrastructure and needs other development partners to come in.
“I am very excited to witness the ground-breaking ceremony for the commencement of the construction of this stadium because it has been in the pipeline for a long time and there was so many speculations as regards to the construction of this facility by our colleagues from FAM. This is a new chapter where all the rumors have been put to bed as we have now finally launched the project.
“It is a very important facility because as a nation, sports infrastructure is a huge problem whereby so may areas are lacking and as government, we have tried to come in with lots of projects across the country but with limited resources, we are unable to fulfill this, but today, with the assistance from FIFA, FAM has benefitted to construct this stadium and we are very thankful and grateful them for this kind of support,” he said.
Deputy Minister of Local Government, Unity and Culture Owen Chomanika described the development as important in as far as urbanization process in concerned.
FAM secured funding of USD500,000 from FIFA Foundation for the rehabilitation of the Nsanje Community Stadium as a response to the effects of Cyclone Idai in 2019.
Among the main features of the project are the construction of a new modern football pitch from scratch and installation of solar power with an inbuilt irrigation system. In addition, the pitch will be secured with a wire perimeter fence as well as construction of a VIP box and dressing rooms for the football teams.