The Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) has formally handed over the fully refurbished David Kaunda Stadium to the Zambian government in Chipata, Eastern Province. The extensive renovation project, which commenced last year, absorbed approximately $300,000 in funding.
During the handover ceremony in Chipata, the Minister of Youth, Sport, and Arts, Elvis Nkandu, expressed gratitude to FIFA for their support and pledged the government’s commitment to further upgrading the stadium to cater to international matches. Minister Nkandu also revealed the government’s vision to transform the stadium into a multipurpose facility.
“We are thankful to FIFA for the support, but as a government, we pledge to continue from where FIFA ended. We pledge to dedicate resources to the continued upgrading of the stadium,” he affirmed, calling on other cooperating partners to join in advancing the cause of sports infrastructure development.
Minister Nkandu stressed the importance of quality infrastructure in promoting sports, noting that it not only encourages mass participation but also enhances sporting activities.
Furthermore, he challenged authorities responsible for Constituency Development Funds (CDF) to consider allocating resources for the development of sporting infrastructure within their constituencies.
David Fani, the FIFA Southern Africa Regional Office Lead, commended the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) for their prudent investment of FIFA-provided funds in infrastructure development across the nation. He emphasized FIFA’s commitment to assisting member associations with financial resources to advance the sport.
Fani expressed FIFA’s expectations that the upgraded stadium would significantly benefit the football community, not only in the Eastern Province but also throughout the entire country.
FAZ President Andrew Kamanga echoed the sentiment that football infrastructure development was crucial for the sport’s growth. He highlighted the completion of the David Kaunda Stadium project as a monumental step in the evolution of football in Zambia.
Kamanga further elaborated on the extensive renovations, which included work on the pitch, dressing rooms, stands, and other critical areas. He proudly stated that the stadium’s current state allows it to host international matches, opening new horizons for football enthusiasts.
The handover ceremony was graced by the presence of several dignitaries, including Eastern Province Minister Peter, Minister of Agriculture Mtolo Phiri, who is also the Chipata Central Member of Parliament, Ministry of Youth, Sport, and Arts Permanent Secretary Chama Fumba, and Chipata City Mayor George Mwanza, among others.