Accra, April 10, GNA - Construction works at the Tamale and Sekondi-Essipong stadia are witnessing steady progress and stand the chance of meeting the deadline for hosting of the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations by Ghana.
Mr Wilfred Edwin Owusu Apetu, a member of the Technical Committee of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) who revealed this at a brainstorming session on Monday, said so far, construction works at the Tamale and Sekondi-Essipong stadiums are almost out of foundation level and free from any damage and delays that would have been caused by the setting of the rainy season.
Mr Apetu said all works at the ground level including reinforcement bars have also been completed.
"Progress of works are a little above schedule and the contractors intend to accelerate the works by running night shifts to ensure the completion of works ahead of scheduled". Mr Apetu stated. He said the Committee is engaged in discussions with the team of Chinese engineers in Sekondi with respect to the provision of internet connection, telephone trunk lines, cable television signals, broadcast camera connections and electric power for outside and broadcast vans. Mr Apetu said that each stadium will also have an Outside Broadcast (OB) van, with venues for semi finals and finals having three and five OB vans respectively, whilst all commentary boxes' at all tournament venues would be enclosed.
He said each of the stadiums is to have a direct feed to international satellites with a minimum of 13 TV cameras, while 14 cameras would be made available for the opening and closing ceremonies, The number of the cameras would however be reduced to 8-10 for group matches with 10-12 for quarter and semi-final matches.
On the Ohene Djan project in Accra and the Kumasi Baba Yara Stadia, he announced that demolition works have almost been completed and the only major earthworks left is the excavation of the football pitch and running tracks to a depth of 2.5 meters to make way for an increment of the seating capacity to 40,000.
Mr Apetu said Micheleti and Co Limited contractors working on the Accra stadium are expecting soil investigation reports from Italy to give guidelines to the methods to be used during the construction works. He said a decision to use the four venues for the hosting of the competition is irrevocable though the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) expressed observations about hotel facilities and the airport in Tamale.
Mr Apetu noted that much effort is needed to raise the standards of hotels in Tamale, adding that it might not be impossible for CAF to endorse the venue.
He however called on the LOC to set up a committee made up of aviation experts to look at the claims that the Tamale airport is below standard and not be threatened by observations of CAF.
"This is because the Tamale Airport has a longer runway and was also set up to meet international aviation authority standards, therefore there should not be threats by the claims of CAF".