The Baba Yara Sports Stadium will host the first leg of the 2022 World Cup playoff between Ghana and Nigeria.
The Cape Coast Sports Stadium which has been Ghana’s home ground for a while now was initially scheduled to host the game but was deemed “unfit” by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) after an inspection on Monday.
The ground came in doubt to host the World Cup qualifier following its bad state after Ghana’s 65th Independence Day anniversary celebrations on March 6.
The Baba Yara Sports Stadium which recently had an uplift and is the home ground for Premier League clubs Asante Kotoko and King Faisal has now been selected to host the game, a statement from CAF revealed.
The statement read: “Reference to the CAF stadium inspection conducted to Baba Yara Sports Stadium (Kumasi) for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 African qualifiers playoff round match, Ghana Vs. Nigeria scheduled for the 25th of March 2022, following the analysis of the report we have taken the following decision:
1. Grant a one-match approval for the use of Baba Yara Sports Stadium (Kumasi) in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 African qualifiers playoff round match Ghana Vs. Nigeria;
2. Upon conclusion of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 playoff round match, the stadium is automatically removed from the list of CAF approved stadiums and will only be approved for any subsequent CAF/FIFA international senior national teams matches and CAF men’s interclubs competitions following the implementation of all the CAF remarks”.
The letter further stated that the following conditions must be met before the match against Nigeria. They include:
1. Installation of new international standard, modern and comfortable officials’ benches at pitch level;
2. Adjustment of the floodlight intensity. A minimum of 1200 Lux should be provided all over the pitch, covering uniformly every area of the playing field;
3. Increase seating and lockers in the teams dressing rooms to reach (25) persons;
4. Installation of completely new modern equipment and materials in the referees dressing rooms and ensure that is equipped with all the necessary materials and CAF requirements;
5. Set up the water system to provide both cold and hot water in the teams and officials dressing room;
6. General refurbishment of the CAF office, installation of modern desks and seats, including the necessary electronic and working equipment;
7. VOC must be available and equipped with all the necessary equipment and requirements;
8. Complete refurbishment of the media tribune, press conference room and media centre, installing new and modern equipment.
9. In order to follow the progress of the above-mentioned works in the stadium, CAF will designate a stadium inspector to conduct an onsite assessment up till the day of the upcoming FIFA match.
CAF again stated that there shall an onsite stadium inspector to conduct further assessment of the facility until the fay of the match and that in the event that the above mentioned conditions are not met before the match; financial sanctions shall be imposed on Ghana.
Ghana will host Nigeria on Friday, March 25 before traveling to Abuja for the reverse fixture at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium on Tuesday, March 29, 2022.