LET US ENTICE RESOURCEFUL COMPANIES TO RENOVATE OUR STADIA AND IMPROVE SPORTS GENERALLY THROUGH SPONSORSHIP.
The Accra Sports Stadium, one of the most popular sporting arenas in Ghana and West Africa is likely to be closed down temporarily on the orders of the Ministry of Youth and Sports. It is not an easy step to be taken by the ministry, but it has become inevitable due to various problems impeding the normal and proper function of the stadium. Currently the large edifice owes the Electricity Company of Ghana a huge electricity bill that has forced the ECG to cut off power to the stadium forcing it to use its scarce funds on generators. This has affected work in the offices of the stadium and the scoreboard which has ceased functioning. Although the Ghana Sports Authority has been renting out the stadium to religious bodies and other organizations that does not bring enough returns from it. Of late not even high profile football matches involving Accra Hearts of Oak, Asante Kotoko and Accra Great Olympics provide good patronage and good financial returns to the Sports Council. Apart from the deteriorating pitch in Accra and the failure by the authorities to deal with the poor pitch and the weakening seats in the stands and the insanitary washrooms and dressing outfits interest in soccer in Ghana generally has waned in favor of English Premier League and that of Spain and Europe generally. The problems being faced by the Accra Sports Stadium has stretched to the stadia in most parts of Ghana. The Tema Sports Stadium which has astro-turf and that of Sekondi, Tamale and Kumasi have their fair share of problems. Mr. Saka Aquaye of the Ghana Sports Authority has not hidden the problems being faced by our stadia. He said as a result of the financial problems being faced by his outfit, employees of the council manning the stadia have come down from 600 to 300 currently with their salaries also not good enough. The Sports Authority’s contracts with Zoom Lion and Green Grass Technology with regard to work on the pitches and sanitation facilities have suffered serious setback.
The Accra Sports Stadium and the other stadia in Ghana are currently in deplorable state. If the situation is allowed to persist, it will affect our reputation as a top sporting nation without standard stadia.
The whole world round, especially Europe and other continents governments have moved away from governments solely giving financial backing to sports. The time has come for us in Ghana to attract reputable companies to take over or give adequate care and maintenance of sports stadia. Ghana has begun attracting investors to take part in setting up factories and other companies in all localities. As part of the industrialization policy, it is advisable for government to make provision for incentives for all companies that would support sporting activities including the care and maintenance of stadia. This way it is most likely all our stadia would always be maintained and all sporting activities benefit from regular financial supports.
BY ALHAJI ALHASAN ABDULAI.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: EANFOWORLD FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT,
E-MAIL: ABDULAI.ALHASAN@GMAIL.COM OR EANFOWORLD@YAHOO.COM
TEL: 0244370345 – 0208844792 – 0274853710.
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