Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Walter Nyamilandu has disclosed that the K3.6 billion infrastructure project by the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) will start early this year.
Nyamilandu has made the statement after meeting his Moroccan counterpart Fouzi Lekjaa on the sidelines of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Awards Gala in Accra, Ghana last Thursday.
FRMF with support from the Moroccan government promised to roll out the projects before the end of 2017 and the delay was casting doubt on whether the initiative would really take place.
“All in all, it was a very successful meeting. The project is on track. Construction will start early this year once the Moroccan FA select a successful bidder to construct the Football Technical Centre in the country,” Nyamilandu said.
“Construction will be done by local contractors in Morocco and it is being facilitated by the Morocco Government, which is now ready to press the button.”
The first phase of the projects includes the construction of a technical centre in Lilongwe complete with offices, 50 rooms, fitness centre, office block, restaurant and installation of an artificial turf. The second phase will see the installation of an artificial turf at Luwinga Technical Centre in Mzuzu and the setting up of a natural turf at Chilomoni Stadium in Blantyre.
According to the FAM boss the technical centre in Lilongwe will as well include an academic centre, recreation centre and three storey hostels with 42 rooms.
“Our plan is to construct a multipurpose hall on the same site next year with funding from Fifa [the world football governing body] to turn it into a football house and a business centre with everything under one roof,” he said. “It is worth mentioning that the plot being earmarked is next to Bingu National Stadium courtesy of the Malawi Government.”
He added the project will not be carried out with funding from loans and there are no strings attached or any financial obligation.
The projects will help to sort out the scarcity of good soccer infrastructures in the country.
A few months ago, RFMF sent consultants into the country to carry out a feasibility study of the three-year partnership deal.
The deal came four months after Morocco rejoined the African Union. The North African country seeks to strengthen its ‘soft’ power in a region traditionally dominated by South Africa and friendly to the aspirations of the Western Sahara for independence.