The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has banned The Gambia’s only stadium from hosting international matches.
According to CAF, the Independence Stadium is unfit to host international matches, because the stadium lacks adequate facilities that match their standards.
From the statement released on the Independence stadium’s Facebook page, The Gambia may not play official international ‘home’ games on home soils for the foreseeable future or at least until we sort out our stadium situation.
According to the stadium, CAF sees the Gambian stadium as “old and outdated” and short of the standards required to host official fixtures.
As a result, they have placed a series of demands that must be met before the stadium can hold such games, which in fairness are not far fetched demands but the truth is we are not serious about our football/sports as a country from both government and the federation. We get in the euphoria when convenient.
1. Re-grassing of the football ground
2. Installation of modern substitute benches
3. Flood lights with 1200 lux and a standby generator for evening matches
4. Complete renovation and expansion of the dressing rooms
5. Modern first aid and treatment facilities for players and officials
6. Seats for individual spectators
7. Equipped media facilities
8. Training facilities
AFCON 2023 QUALIFIERS:
As widely expected, the Gambia Scorpions will now play both legs of their upcoming AFCON 2023 preliminary qualifiers against Chad away from home.
With the current lack of suitable football grounds in the country, the Scorpions will have to play their “home” game in the neighbouring Senegal or one of their other close neighbours.
The Gambian side will face Chad in the two legged ties on March 21st and 29th subsequently; with their home tie scheduled for the 29th, which is a day after Senegal’s crunch world cup qualifier against Egypt on March 28th at the new Diamniadio Olympics stadium. So there are possibilities they may allow the Scorpions to play there. MMMMMM!!.
There are reports the Chad home game may also be played on a neutral ground possibly in Cameroon for similar reasons as they have also failed to meet the standards laid by CAF.
“What we pass on, moves forward to future generations. Never let anything important slip through the cracks.” – Elizabeth B. Knaus
Again, according The stadium management, they have highlighted these issues as far back as 2012 to our governments but nothing’s been done about it and now the chickens have home to roost.
With that said, have both the stadium management and the GFF done enough to ensure we do not find ourselves in this mess?