Ghana can use Baba Yara and Accra Sports stadia for Africa Games – NSA Boss
The Director General of the National Sports Authority (NSA), Professor Peter Twumasi, says Ghana will be ready to host the 2023 Africa Games.
With less than a year to the games to be staged in Accra, the Local Organizing Committee is racing against time to put adequate infrastructure in place to host the multi-sport event.
Concerns have been raised by major stakeholders on the slow pace of work on the new Borteyman Olympic-size stadium as well as renovation works at the Legon Stadium.
Both facilities are expected to be used for next year’s Africa Games.
Chairman of the Local Organising Committee for the 2023 Africa Games, Dr. Ofosu Asare, has cautioned that the schedule for the multi-sport event could be affected should they fail to receive funds on time.
His concerns were reechoed by the Sports Director of the University of Ghana, Dr. Bella Bello Bitugu, who urged government to speed up work on the hosting facilities.
The University is expected to house the Games’ Village; with a dining area, medical hub, rugby field, and the University of Ghana Stadium, which has running tracks, located in the institution.
There are fears work on these facilities cannot be completed on time for the opening ceremony of the Games in August 2023.
These fears are however allayed by the Director General of the National Sports Authority (NSA), Professor Peter Twumasi, who is optimistic Ghana will be ready to host the multi-sport event.
“It was not out of nothing that they said Ghana should go and host the games, they knew what Ghana can do. Ghana has hosted the AFCON a couple of times and in 2008 I think you remember President Kufour’s time we hosted it and everybody was very cheerful. And they know our capacity, they know what we can do, so even the existing facilities that we had was enough for them to be able to have confidence in Ghana that we can do it,” he said in an interview with Luv FM.
The NSA boss is confident the Accra and the Baba Yara stadia as well as other existing facilities in the country could host the competition, in the event that the Borteyman and Legon stadiums are not ready.
“Already with what we have, if we were to even look at just that, they are more than enough for us to be able to host the Africa Games. Talk about the Accra Sports stadium, Baba Yara, here can do almost all the athletics. Yes, here we can do all the track and field events, the Baba Yara stadium is bigger than the Alexandria stadium that we all saw and I think you all know about it, “he stressed.
Professor Peter Twumasi further stated that Ghana is not restricted to host the games at one venue as was done in Morocco 2019 when the event was staged in three different cities.
“We are not restricted, when we went to Morocco it was Rabat-Morocco but we had other events in Casablanca. In fact, it was hosted in three different locations. Ghana’s original plan was that we were going to host three cities, the triangle Accra, Cape Coast and Kumasi. It was at a certain point that the narrative changed and we decided to do it only in Accra. Ghana is not bound by any such regulation that you can’t do it anywhere we choose. Even Otumfuo is not happy about the fact that everything is moving away from Asanteman,” the NSA boss emphasized.
The Africa Games is expected to be staged from August 4-19 August, 2023.