I didn’t authorise closure of Accra Sports Stadium – Minister
Minister for Youth and Sports, Mustapha Ussif, has said he was not involved in the decision to shut down the Accra Sports Stadium in December.
Mr Ussif disclosed this when he appeared before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Monday.
“No, I did not authorise 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.
“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.
The National Sports Authority (NSA) closed the facility for sporting activities while the Ghana Premier League was still in session.
This was a strategic shift towards revenue generation from non-sporting activities.
As a result, Hearts of Oak, Accra Lions, and Great Olympics were forced to relocate temporarily as they were faced with venue crisis.
However, the Minister who doubles as the Yagaba-Kubori Member Parliament (MP) said he was worried about the decision and engaged the Director-General of NSA, Peter Twumasi.
“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,” he stated.
Going forward, the Minister has noted the NSA will no longer rent out the facility for social 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,” he added.
Ghana will host the African Games for the first time from March 8–23, 2024, with over 3500 elite athletes from 54 countries expected to compete.