Infrastructure Minister Vincent Mwale says he has engaged the Football Association to seek suitable partners among European football clubs to assist in the construction of a state of the art sports facility in Chipata.

Mwale told News Diggers that he has embarked on the construction of a state of the art sports facility in the city of Chipata through his non-profit organisation, the Vincent Mwale Foundation, but is in need of more funds.

He said the foundation was renting the Old Beit Stadium on a 10-year lease from the Chipata City Council and intends to upgrade the facility to emulate the Barcelona Academy in Lusaka.

“Chipata is now a city and it requires first class facilities such as the Barca Sports Academy. It is for this reason that when the Chipata City Council advertised the Old Beit Stadiumwhere they wanted, among other things, someone to lease the property and refurbish the club house to modern standards, fence off the ground, land scape the area and put up other complimentary sports infrastructure, we (The Vincent Mwale Foundation) jumped on the opportunity,” Mwale said.

“We have good sports facilities in Lusaka and Copperbelt, my dream is these same facilities to be replicated in places like Chipata and help raise the standards of various sports disciplines. I must safely say we have spoken to FAZ president Andrew Kamanga who has agreed to help us find a suitable Club for us from Europe that we can partner with.”

He said his foundation would embark on a vigorous fundraising exercise to reconstruct the stadium which, upon completion, would include an 11 aside pitch, seven aside, and three pitches for the five aside players.

The facility is also expected to have a basketball and a volleyball court.

Mwale said all the activities done so far have been on a non-profit basis, adding that the residents are already excited about the development.