Malawi have written to FIFA,requesting that the 2014 World Cup qualifier against the Super Eagles of Nigeria,be taken away from Calabar city to another place.
Not only did the Football Association of Malawi (FAM) disapprove of the venue for the game,they also protested the appointment of Hamada el Moussa Nampiandraza as the centre referee for the game.
Belgian coach Tom Sainfeit,who offered to lead the Flames of Malawi in the all important World Cup qualifier,called for the game to moved away from Calabar,adding that it is not a comfortable arrangement.
“Nigeria would like to play in Calabar because it is close to Cameroon in the south-east of Nigeria – not so easy to reach with the only connection via Lagos and Abuja but with no international flights,” he said.
“There are not so many hotels available so it will be very difficult to get there. I have one question also about security because the UK’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office says it is a no-travel area,” Saintfeit told the Malawian local press.
“FIFA they may have to think of shifting the match either to Abuja or to another place outside Nigeria because Calabar is obviously not the capital and it is not a big city. The accommodation is not good for such a big game.
“But I think it is also a plan by Nigeria. They try to disturb their opponents on and off the pitch. So in all the ways we must be prepared as top professionals to try to find solutions and make good plans.”
Nigeria leads group F,two points ahead of Malawi and needs just a point to to make the last qualification stage of the 2014 World Cup qualifiers.
Meanwhile in a statement to FIFA,the Malawian FA alluded to insecurity in Calabar as the reason,why they want the game moved.
“There is security risk in Calabar where the match will be played, as reported by the Commonwealth Commission. The venue of the match is risky to our delegation and we would like FIFA to shift the match to Abuja or to a neutral country where our delegation will be safe.”
“Calabar has been flagged as a high-risk security area and this alert cannot be taken lightly. Our Minister of Sports will be part of the travelling delegation and we do not want to take security risks by travelling to Calabar.”
Barring any change,the game will come on September 7 in Calabar