The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has granted a one match approval for Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi to host the World Cup Qatar 2022 play-off match between Ghana and Nigeria. The approval followed a visit by a CAF Licensing Inspector to the Baba Yara Sports Stadium last Sunday to inspect the facility.
This was revealed in a letter signed by CAF Development Officer, Raul Chipenda and sent to the General Secretary of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), Prosper Harrison Addo, and copied to FIFA.
In the letter, CAF stated that: “Reference to the CAF stadium inspection conducted to Baba Yara Sports Stadium (Kumasi) for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 African qualifiers playoff round match, Ghana Vs. Nigeria scheduled for the 25th of March 2022, following the analysis of the report, we have taken the following decision: Grant a one-match approval for the use of Baba Yara Sports Stadium (Kumasi) in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 African qualifiers playoff round match Ghana Vs. Nigeria”.
The statement from CAF further stated that “Upon conclusion of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 playoff round match, the stadium is automatically removed from the list of CAF approved stadiums and will only be approved for any subsequent CAF/FIFA international senior national teams matches and CAF men’s interclub competitions following the implementation of all the CAF remarks”.
Conditions to be met before the match
The letter further directed that the following conditions must be met before the match against Nigeria. They include: Installation of new international standard, modern and comfortable officials’ benches at pitch level; and Adjustment of the floodlight intensity. In this regard, CAF stated that a minimum of 1200 Lux should be provided all over the pitch, covering uniformly every area of the playing field.
Additionally, CAF urged the GFA to Increase seating and lockers in the teams dressing rooms to reach (25) persons and also install a completely new modern equipment and materials in the referees dressing rooms and ensure that is equipped with all the necessary materials and CAF requirements.
There is also the need to set up the water system to provide both cold and hot water in the teams and officials dressing room; and a general refurbishment of the CAF office, installation of modern desks and seats, including the necessary electronic and working equipment.
The statement further indicated that VOC must be available and equipped with all the necessary equipment and requirements. Complete refurbishment of the media tribune, press conference room and media Centre, installing new and modern equipment were also part of the conditions to be met before the match.
In order to follow the progress of the above-mentioned works in the stadium, CAF will designate a stadium inspector to conduct an onsite assessment up till the day of the upcoming FIFA match.
CAF again stated that there shall be an onsite stadium inspector to conduct further assessment of the facility until the day of the match and in the event that the above mentioned conditions are not met before the match, financial sanctions shall be imposed on Ghana.
This means the Baba Yara stadium replaces the Cape Coast sports stadium which was originally scheduled to host the match. The Black Stars of Ghana will play the Super Eagles of Nigeria in the 1st leg on Friday, March 25, 2022 at 19:30GMT at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi.