Karonga District Council (KDC) has declined a request by members of the football fraternity in the district, on their desire to have Karonga United and Chitipa United play a friendly match at the newly completed Karonga Stadium.

The Stadium construction committee expressed willingness to hold the match at the stadium; however, the KDC rebuffed the request, and cited the threats of vandalism as the major reason for declining to hold the match.

The much-anticipated match between the two rivals, has since been shifted to Karonga Community Ground on Sunday October 1, 2017.

According to the Karonga Stadium Committee Construction Chairperson Cossam Munthali, “many parts of the Stadium have been completed. Hence we are keen to hold a friendly match between Karonga United and Chitipa United as an opportunity to test the facilities beforehand.”

The stadium will be officially be given to KDC by the local development fund in the coming month.

“We saw no problem in holding the match at the stadium as the contractor ensured us that there are no problems in holding the game at the facility; only final touches of the stadium were being worked on and the Council was aware of this,” he said.

Speaking in an interview, contractors who are working on the multi-million Kwacha Stadium, under Nangaunozge Building Conteactors, confirmed that theStadium was at its final stages of completion and that the match could have been heldat the Stadium.

However, the Acting District Commissioner Scotch Kondowe, said proper procedures were not followed as the Stadium has not been handed over to the Council.

“There was need for consultations between the LDF, local Government, and the contractor to agree on whether the match could have gone ahead.

Work on construction of the Stadium began in September 2015, and the project was projected to be completed in 18 months.

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