Essipong (W/R) Dec.20, GNA - Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Minister of Education and Sports on Tuesday handed over the site for the construction of the Sekondi Sports Stadium to the Shangai Construction Company Limited, the project contractors at Essipong near Takoradi.
The construction of the stadium is one of the venues earmarked for the hosting of the 2008 African Nations Cup in Ghana.
Mr Osafo-Maafo said the Sekondi and Tamale Sports Stadiums are to be constructed by the Shangai Construction Company Limited of China at a cost of 38.5 billion dollars each.
He said the two stadiums would each have a seating capacity of about 20,000 spectators.
The Minister added that the refurbishment of the Ohene Djan stadium in Accra and the Baba Yara stadium in Kumasi are on course to increase their seating capacities.
Mr Osafo-Maafo said the Sekondi Sports Stadium would have a 250 sitting area for Very Important Personalities (VIP) as well as other facilities including 40-room hotel, restaurant, shopping mall, a gym and room for the press.
He said Ghana is expected to have four stadiums for the CAN 2008 and Tamale and Sekondi-Takoradi were chosen for construction of the new sites in addition to those at Accra and Kumasi.
Mr Osafo-Maafo said the selection of Sekondi-Takoradi was based on merit and due to the passion of the people for football that has over the year's produced some of the country's best footballers.
He called on the contractors to endeavour to complete the stadium by the expected date of September 2007 to enable the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to embark on its inspection in October 2007. Mr Osafo-Maafo said the stadium is of vital national interest to the success of the hosting of the CAN 2008 and as such his Ministry would give the contractors the necessary assistance to enable them complete the project on schedule.
Mr Joseph Boahen Aidoo, Western Regional Minister said the stadium is a national project so everybody should put his hands on deck to ensure its success.
He said the stadium does not belong to any particular sector of the people, adding that it is expected bring economic and other benefits to the Region and the country. Awulae Attibrukusu III, President of the Western Regional House of Chiefs advised traditional rulers against litigating over the land earmarked for the stadium.
He said litigation should be avoided so that the construction works would not be interrupted in any way. Nana Kobina Nketsia, Chairman of the Sekondi-Takoradi Venue Organising Committee of CAN 2008 warned that any person or group of persons who may try to disrupt work on the stadium would be dealt with. Mr Osafo-Maafo later unveiled a model of the stadium to the chiefs and the people.