I did not authorize closure of Accra Sports Stadium
Youth and Sports Minister, Mustapha Ussif, has distanced himself from the decision to shut down the Accra Sports Stadium in December for non-sporting activities.
The closure, according to the National Sports Authority (NSA) was to pave way for social events during the festive season, despite the ongoing 2023/24 Ghana Premier League season.
Teams like Hearts of Oak, Accra Lions, and Great Olympics were instructed to move their home games due to the stadium’s unavailability, triggering public backlash.
During his appearance before the Public Accounts Committee on Monday, February 5, Minister Ussif refuted any involvement in the closure decision, emphasizing the primary purpose of sports facilities for talent development and competitive events.
“The main purpose of our sporting facilities is for us to use those facilities to develop talent and also for competitions whether national or international,” he said.
“No, I did not [authorize the closure of the sports stadium in December]. I am aware [the stadia was closed] and I did call him [Peter Twumasi] to ask. My major concern was the pitch.
“Even though the NSA by law is the authority having the powers to manage all the sporting facilities for us and to ensure they are in good shape, once we have a major tournament coming; the Africa Games and we have also the Premiership ongoing, my major concern is how much we are getting from these social events that we are giving out these facilities to” the Sport Minister noted.
He said he was instructed NSA boss, Peter Twumasi to stop renting out the stadium for such events.
“It’s something that I have engaged the Director General on that going forward this should not be done because at the end of the day whatever you get from these social events might not be able to maintain the pitch,” Minister Ussif added.