More than one million visitors from around the world are expected to patronise the Ghana CAN 2008 football tournament scheduled for next year.
Mr Kwesi Hammond, a member of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) of the event, said this during an interaction with the press at Cape
Coast on Thursday after he had accompanied members of the Parliamentary
Select Committee on Sports, Youth and Culture, led by its Chairman, Mr
Isaac Asiamah to call on the Central Regional Minister, Nana Ato Arthur.
The meeting was to deliberate on how best the Region, particularly Cape
Coast, which was to have a standby stadium to use its facilities such as hotels to benefit from the tournament.
The member said as part of the tournament, a programme dubbed “CANFEST” would be mounted with large television screens mounted at
vantage points in all Regional and District capitals to serve as a “converging
point for spectators to have a communal feel of a stadium environment”.
Mr Hammond said it was therefore imperative for all Ghanaians, especially those in Cape Coast not to feel left out because of the inability of
government to provide the proposed standby stadium, but to take full
advantage of the tournament.
He explained that the venues for the large television screens would also have restaurants, bazaars, while “interesting programmes” will also be organized to enable the various venues showcase their potentials.
Earlier the chairman of the Committee, Mr Asiamah said among the venues for the event visited so far, “the Sekondi-Takoradi venue is almost set while works on the Tamale and Kumasi stadia, as well as works on some three star hotels under construction were progressing steadily.
Mr Asiamah assured the people of Cape Coast that government would soon fulfil its promise of providing a modern stadium complex for the Municipality and urged them to be patient because it was a top agenda of the government.
Mr Abdul-Rashid Pelpuo, a Ranking Member of the Committee and MP for Wa Central, said as a “citadel of tourism”, the Central Region had much to offer during the event, and urged the Regional Coordinating Council to set up a local committee to plan and “showcase Ghana to the rest of the world”.
The Regional Minister, Nana Arthur said since football begun in Cape Coast, it was imperative that a modern stadium was built in the city and to be as well considered as one of the venues for the CAN 2008 programme since such an arrangement was “dear to the chiefs and people of Cape Coast”.
The Parliamentary delegation later visited the site for the proposed stand-by stadium behind the University of Cape Coast.