The Inspection Team of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has expressed general satisfaction with the progress of work on facilities for the Ghana 2008 African Cup of Nations.
Briefing the press on Saturday in Accra after their seventh inspection, leader of the delegation, Mr Slim Aloulou said work on most of the training pitches was still at the initial stages even though there has been tremendous progress in other sections.
The issue of the training pitches was one of the major factors raised by the team after their previous visit last year.
Mr Aloulou stated that with the exception of the El-Wak Stadium in Accra, there has not been any major work on the other training pitches at Accra, Kumasi, Tamale and Sekondi for the January 20 to February 10 soccer fiesta.
According to the leader, the training pitches which should be of international standards should be made available at least four months before the commencement of the tournament.
Even though the Local Organising Committee (LOC) have given the assurance that the training pitches will be put in order by September, Mr Aloulou warned against the usage of the training pitches and the four stadia when completed so as to keep them in good shape for the 26th edition of Africa's showpiece soccer event.
He stressed: “We insist that all the training pitches and stadia should not be used before the tournament.”
The CAF Executive Committee Member also raised the issue of the airports and the availability of flight schedule to the four match venues.
He said all the participating teams must be flown to their match venues, hence the need to have well equipped airports at all the designated venues.
On accommodation facilities in Tamale, the Committee Member said he was very impressed with the progress of work on the hostel facility on the campus of the University for Development Studies and expressed optimism that it will be completed ahead of schedule.
Mr Aloulou described the progress of work at the Tamale Stadium as a major improvement to their last visit.
Even though the team was unable to visit the Sekondi Stadium, Mr Aloulou said the Chinese Company, which is also undertaking the Tamale project briefed them on the positive progress of work over there.
The CAF Executive member congratulated the LOC for the achievements so far chalked, which he described as a positive indication of their readiness to host the forthcoming championships.
Dr Kofi Amoah, Chairman of the LOC in response gave the assurance that they are on course and will surely meet the CAF deadline to make the event a memorable one.
On the training grounds, he explained that contract has been awarded and work will begin by the end of this month.