06.05.2003 Sports News

Gyandu Park in a mess

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Lovers and connoisseurs of football as a good move to avert another disaster have received the declaration that the Osu stand of the Accra Sports stadium is a death trap and its subsequent closure.

The fact is that the decision was taken at the right time since the league would be commencing very soon. But it's unclear as to what plans are in store for the other stadia.

A visit to a number of possible centres for the highly rated forthcoming league showed that something must be done immediately to put the venues to appreciable standards before the kick off. One must be quick to ask that, if Accra Sports Stadium is a death trap, then what is the Gyandu Park"? Your guess would be as good as mine.

If the Osu stand which saw refurbishment some sixteen months ago has suddenly turned a death trap, then what could possible be fate of the Gyandu park which has seen no major face lift for over thirty years of its existence. Or are we to believe that the earlier Osu Stand project was another waste of money and that somebody had cause a financial loss to the state?

It is a truism that developing football in isolation is bound to fail, hence the need to tackle it from every angle, thus from infrastructure, the talent, good instructors and so on.

Concentration on some aspects to the detriment of others is as worse as not developing the game at all and that is why equal attention ought to be given to all our stadia in our quest to raise the standard of the game.

If Gyandu park, the only "ideal" park in the whole of Western region could be in this mess then one would be tempted to say that we are jokers to be thinking of building other stadia when indeed we have not been able to raise the few ones we have to any appreciable standards.

It is incredible to see those wooden structures, which were erected when the stadium was built, are still being used by fans during matches.

Some people may argue that since the stadium does not house sizable crowd during matches, it was okay to manage it. But for how long should we continue to risk the lives of the lovers of the game who would pay gate proceeds to watch their teams in action?

Does it mean that we think of improving only venues where massive crowd? regular features. Its worth asking whether it is the same park most gurus of Ghana soccer have once or several times watched titanic football encounters over the years. And it has never occurred to any of them that in case of disasters, lives could be lost in great numbers?

The narrow nature of the Gyandu gates are so deadly that in case of any stampede, only God can tell the number of people who would be victims of being trampled upon. If it is extremely difficult for even one person to enter through the narrow gates with comfort, then none need be told that the stadium is in a mess.

Over and again, the safety of match official and players have been hyped but let us be fair to ourselves as to if owners of the stadium, (National Sports Council) who has shares in gate fees is not a contributor to those unsafe feelings. If the pathetic, rusty and week fence separating the inner parameter is as tall as the height of an average Ghanaian six-year-old girl, then what else do we expect.

It's obvious that we seem to have misplaced priorities as far as development is concerned. Does it mean that our "big men' have not noticed anything wrong with the nature of the hideous VIP stand at Gyandu let alone the stands?

Talk of the weedy nature of the pitch and it is an eye saw. Is it not shameful that Gyandu is a premier league centre and expected to be used as a venue for the approaching league?

With the few offices within the stadium and the dressing rooms not being properly kept and without locks, how do we protect properties at these places?

Does the continuous display in the inner perimeter of adverts by Accra Brewery Company, (ABC) one time sponsors of the premier league, suggests that the company is paying something directly or indirectly for its advertisements?

If rumours that new entrants, Stay Cool Professionals, would be using the Tema Sports stadium is true, then God help Ghana soccer.

Are we saying after twenty-four months that the stadium was declared "unhealthy" for usage; it has abruptly turned fit over-night though no renovation work has been done.

Has the place become safer by itself when it was left to its fate? What about the once declared weak walls? Or is it another argument that Stay Cool would not pull much crowd?

If the place was not worth using two years ago, then what is changed now that makes it secured? It is high time people are told that our football is retrogressing and any recovery might not be realised until the right thing is done.

Over to the Powers that be.

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