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08.06.2007 Football News

Tension mounts between contractors at CAN 2008 site

By Graphic Sports

Tension is said to be mounting between the Chinese construction company undertaking the CAN 2008 Stadium project at Essipon in the Western Region and the contractors for the external works of the stadium.

The local sub-contractors who won the bid to work on the external facilities of the stadium are complaining of being deliberately frustrated, as it were, by the expatriates to complete the work and are ready to call their bluff.

They are accusing the Chinese company of resorting to delaying tactics and denying them access to certain portions of the stadium as they refuse to remove their structures to pave the way.

The Graphic Sports reports an unnamed official of the sub-contractors who says the expatriates had suddenly become so hostile that one of them was reported to have stoned a Ghanaian worker who was detailed to conduct a survey outside the main stadium.

The sub-contractors' desire to finish the work on time but are unable because their equipment including wooden structures and metal containers for the scaffolding, and also plants, heavy duty trucks, warehouses, giant concrete mixer have been scattered.

The local contractors have about four percent of the work left but are still worried that they may not be able to meet the deadline in four months time.

Indeed, the Chinese are refusing to relocate to enable the local contractors to finish their work as linguistic problems also seem to have worsened the tension. The Chinese cannot communicate well in the English language while the Ghanaians can't speak a line of Chinese either.

They also accuse the Chinese of refusing to work on restaurants, hotel rooms and parts of the ground floors close to the various entrances to the stadium on the grounds that they were not part of the contract.

The Ministry of Education, Science and Sports which has responsibility over the stadium and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) are expected to mediate.

But for the hitch, work would have been near completion. At the moment, the first coat of the tartan tracks have been laid and fixing of seats is almost complete.

Essential services such as hydro-power and telecommunication facilities have been stalled because of the conflict.

Meanwhile, the LOC has settled on the four designated places to be used as training pitches for the region.

They are the Fijai Secondary School Park, the Railways Park, the Gyandu Park and one location near the main stadium, an LOC official told the Graphic Sports.

A tour by the Graphic Sports to the various places selected as training pitches revealed a lot of work yet to be done.

The park at Fijai Secondary School needs re-grassing and landscaping as the central part of the park has "no grass and portions of it have stagnant water.

The situation at the Gyandu Park is better as the place is enclosed and has a spacious car park. However, there is a lot of work to be done at the Railways Park to put it in shape.

However, work was yet to commence on the one located at Essipon.

Source: Graphic Sports