The Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS) has finally secured BAT Ground title deeds, granting it full ownership of the dilapidated facility in Blantyre.
The council’s executive secretary Henry Mereka confirmed the development, describing it as a major step in the efforts to refurbish BAT Ground into a modern mini stadium.
The stadium belonged to the cigarette manufacturing company British American Tobacco (BAT) which later donated it to the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture.
However, three years ago, the ministry handed over the facility to the Sports Council which discovered that the infrastructure was still under the BAT ownership as title deeds had not been changed.
“We could not fully roll out the renovations because technically we didn’t own it. But we obtained the title deeds a few weeks ago and we are pleased to finally have the ownership,” he said.
Mereka has, meanwhile, stated that they have started the ground renovations with fence construction currently underway.
“After that, we shall focus on the pitch and re-developing and refurbishing the terraces,” he said.
All along, the Southern Region Football Association (SRFA) has been using the ground as its main office and hosting of lower league matches.
SRFA vice-general secretary Kingsley Simbeye said upgrading the stadium will ensure that the Southern Region has quality football venues.
“Having the BAT Ground fully functional will be good for the game. In fact, it will not only benefit us but also Super League teams as they will be playing their matches there,” he said.