The Director General of the National Sports Authority (NSA), Professor Peter Twumasi, has given an assurance that the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi will bounce back by October this year to host exciting night Premier League matches just like the Accra Stadium.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic in an interview last Friday, Prof. Twumasi projected that the ongoing major renovation of the facility would be completed by October due to the extensive work being undertaken by the contractors.
It will be recalled that the Baba Yara Stadium was temporarily closed down by the government in February to pave the way for repair works towards hosting Ghana’s 53rd Independence Anniversary on March 6.
The decision forced Asante Kotoko and KIng Faisal to change their home venues to Accra and Obuasi respectively before the suspension of the league in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The over 40,000 capacity stadium has not seen any major renovation since it was rehabilitated for the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) hosted by Ghana.
“Today, as we speak now, with the help of the President and the Minister and the Ministry of Finance money has been secured to get it renovated and it’s going on. We saw that during the 53rd independence anniversary the President chose to organise that in Kumasi and our facility became the hosting ground for the anniversary, which was excellent.
“We have had the contractor moving in to get the work done. As we speak now the contractor is still there working and with the arrangement on the contract we hope that by October this year we will have it fully renovated,” Prof. Twumasi revealed.
Scope of work
According to him, the ongoing renovation works included the sitting arrangement, replacement of scoreboard and the fixing of the floodlights.
“It's going to have our sitting arrangement improved; it's going to have our scoreboard replaced, and the floodlight is also going to be done so we can have another venue to play football matches in the night like Accra Sports Stadium and Cape Coast Stadium,” he stressed.
NSA grateful to President, Minister
He said the NSA had been pushing for its facilities to be improved because they had not seen any substantial improvement in the past 12 years and was, therefore, thankful to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the Sports Minister, Isaac Asiamah, for their support.
“Just recently the other demand was also granted as we saw the Minister and some of us at the Essipon Stadium to hand over the stadium to the contractor to get it renovated.
“This is a major renovation since AFCON 2008 during President Kufour’s time when we had this stadium put up, but you realise there hasn't been any major renovation and that place is sited close to the sea. The effect of salt has been serious on the facility and all these things are going to be improved,” he noted.
Early this month, the government voted $3 million for the rehabilitation of the Sekondi Stadium in Essipon in the Western Region.
Prof. Twumasi also commended Mr Asiamah for supporting the authority to roll out a maintenance plan to safeguard the various facilities under the NSA.
“I'm very glad that the Minister is also supporting us to come out with a maintenance plan manual which we have requested and I hope I can get it completed in my time,” he added.