Malawi to play Ghana in Lilongwe

By Frank KanduBBC Sport, Blantyre
Malawi national team
Malawi national team

The Malawi FA has announced that the second leg of their Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Ghana will be played in the capital city, Lilongwe.

But Flames coach Kinnah Phiri immediately condemned the decision, saying it gives the advantage to the Black Stars.

"We are used to the artificial turf at the Kamuzu Stadium and the change of venue will give the advantage to Ghana because their players pry their trade in Europe where they mostly play on natural grass," Phiri told BBC Sport on Monday.

The former national team striker added: "There's nothing much we can do apart from shifting our camping next week to Lilongwe."

Malawi lost the first leg in Accra 2-0 and need to win by three clear goals to book their place at the finals in South Africa next year.

Malawi FA president Walter Nyamilandu said the decision to shift the tie from Blantyre was reached after a meeting with government officials at the weekend.

The Kamuzu Stadium, the cathedral of the game in Malawi, was closed three weeks ago on safety grounds.

"We had no choice but to choose Civo," said Nyamilandu.

As Civo stadium only has room for 20,000 fans, the Malawi FA has resolved to control the numbers by hiking gate charges.