An inspection team of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) which toured the four venues for the 2008 MTN African Nations Cup have ended their Tamale visit very impressed.
However, it was disappointed by the fact that they could not see the progress of work at the City Hotel in Kumasi.
The team, led by first Vice President of CAF, General Seye Memene, described progress of work at the various facilities at Tamale as “marvellous” and an indication that significant progress had been made in preparations for the hosting of CAN 2008 in Tamale.
The CAF inspection team, accompanied by some officials from the Local Organising Committee and the Tamale Venue Organising Committee (TVOC), inspected accommodation facilities and the new Tamale Sports Stadium.
Among the places visited were the University for Development Studies (UDS) hostel facility which is being jointly executed by Ankomadu Construction Limited and Consar Limited.
The facility is being funded by the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFUND) and has a total of 160 rooms, a conference centre, an internet cafe, a library and a gym. It also has two lifts.
The stadium, built by the Chinese company, Shanghai Construction Company, has been completed for months. Hostel facilities to be used as accommodation have also been completed and the contractors are only putting finishing touches to the job.
Investigations by Graphic Sports showed that access roads within the premises of the hostel had been completed. Painting of the building had also been completed.
Obviously impressed with what he saw, General Memene said it was a relief that at least Tamale was ready for the competition which kicks off on January 20, 2008.
The CAF Vice President expressed gratitude to the sports authorities for the warm reception accorded them.
In Kumasi, however, the contractors working on the City Hotel Project prevented officials of the inspection team from entering the premises to see the progress of work at the hotel when they stopped over in Ghana's second largest city for their inspection.
The team, which included, Gen. Seye Memene, and Mr Slim Alolou, Mayor of Kumasi, Madam Patricia Appiagyei, Magnus Rex Danquah, Chief Operating Officer of the LOC, left the premises highly disappointed after making fruitless attempts to enter.
Snippers gathered by the Graphic Sports indicated that the action of the City Hotel contractors stemmed from the fact that the regular inspections of the project by various officials were affecting the progress of work.
Graphic Sports investigations, however, reveal that the project is far behind schedule as compared to other facilities which will be used to host the Ghana 2008 soccer fiesta.
At the Baba Yara Sports Staduim in Kumasi, however, both the contractors and consultants readily welcomed the CAF officials and led them to the various facilities in the stadium which were already completed.
They included the pitch, the VVIP and VIP lounge, the various dressing and massage rooms, as well as the press box and conference rooms which are well furnished.
All the seats at the stadium had been fixed, indicating that the stadium is ready for the tournament. The contractors are to hand over the project to the government by the end of this month.
Story by Vincent Adedze