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Why Accra Sports Stadium is fast becoming a death trap

It is a fact that since the Accra Sports Stadium was renovated ahead of the 2008 African Nations Cup tournament, little or nothing has been done to maintain the facility.

I remember back in the day when legendary commentator Kwaku Ofosu Asare referred to the ground as the nation’s Wembley.

Over seven years after Ghana hosted the African Nations Cup, the stadium is now in a serious state of disrepair.

I got to the stadium early on Saturday to run commentary on the Stephen Appiah testimonial game.

When I eventually got to my commentary position, some of the cameramen I was working with came to me and showed me some particles that had fallen from the metal structures at the top.

I looked at the object and I was thinking how fortunate it was that no one was hit by that object because it would have caused injury.

Virtually all the metal structures at the roof level have been hit with rust and if not attended to, certain structures will fall one day.

This is all because, over time, no one has bothered to attend to maintaining the structures.

Wires are also left lying around in the open and electrical power through such wires is not properly supervised.

I refer to the press area and parts of the VIP area.

Apart from the fact that journalists and production members have to struggle for power to work, there is a clear and present danger of power inadvertently switched on through the exposed wires when there are people working and that could prove fatal.

The toilets have been left unmaintained and as a result, it is a real drag attending to nature’s call in such unhygienic conditions.

The scoreboard has not been attended to in many years and the least said about the floodlights, the better.

Only 18 bulbs were working on Saturday and that compelled the match referee to end the Stephen Appiah testimonial match early.

I left the stadium that day asking myself all sorts of questions.

Why on earth has nothing been done to fix the floodlights and the scoreboard? Is it a case that the National Sports Authority is so cash strapped that nothing can be done about it?

In the case of the floodlights, what I know is that since the national grid is somewhat unreliable, one needs to buy plenty of fuel for the generators so that the floodlights will work.

In the case of the Accra Sports Stadium, majority of the bulbs are simply not working.

My biggest worry though is the unattended to metal structures at the stadium.

They are heavily rusting and look increasingly unsuitable in terms of carrying the roofing structure at the stadium.

With particles falling off the structures every time, it is only a matter of time before the structure collapses.

I am therefore writing this article and asking for the National Sports Authority, the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the State to pay more attention to the Accra Sports Stadium.

From the outside, the edifice looks ok, but there is no doubt that the Accra Sports Stadium as it is now, remains a potentially calamitous death trap.

I do not want to be a prophet of doom, but unless something is done and quickly, then we might be on the cusp of another stadium disaster akin to the events of May 9 2001.


By Christopher Opoku

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