PATHETIC: Ghana-Burkina Faso women's Africa qualifier in Accra in doubt as NSA rents stadium to church
The Ghana Football Association (GFA) has been asked by the National Sports Authority (NSA) to look for a new venue for the Ghana-Burkina Faso African Women’s Championship (AWC) match as the Accra Stadium has been rented out for a non-sporting activity.
Ghana’s Black Queens host their Burkinabe counterparts in the second leg of the AWC qualifier on Sunday, but a letter from acting NSA Chief Executive, Madam Alice Attipoe, which the Daily Graphic saw yesterday, requested the GFA to shift the match to the El-Wak Stadium because the stadium had been hired by the International Central Gospel Church for a programme on the said date.
The NSA directive for an alternative match venue could come at a great cost to Ghana as international football regulations make it obligatory that any change in date and venue must be communicated to the international organising body, in this case the Confederation of African Football (CAF) 10 days before the scheduled match.
As at press time, the Daily Graphic learnt that FA officials were worried about the turn of events and had arranged a meeting with the NSA to find a solution to the problem.
An FA source said, the managers of the stadium could not just overlook the year’s football calendar it had presented to the NSA at the beginning of the year and, therefore, should have taken into consideration major football activities it had been furnished with before booking those dates for other activities.
“The schedule for all the international assignments, as well as the Premier League had been sent to the NSA to avoid such conflicts. The situation is worrying,” an FA source said.
However, the NSA was unrelenting in its position, compelling the FA to turn to the Ministry of Youth and Sports for intervention.
At the time of filing this report, the ministry was meeting the GFA and the NSA to resolve the issue.
The decision by the NSA to rent out the stadium for non-sporting activities in recent times, as a way of raising revenue to maintain the facility, has been a source of inconvenience to football events in particular.
Last month, the national under-20 female team, Black Princesses, preparing to host their Equatorial Guinean counterparts, had a similar experience when they were compelled to delay their training for several hours because the pitch had been occupied by huge loud speakers and other musical gadgets in preparation for a ‘Singles and Married Conference’.
Source: Daily Graphic