African Games "Accra 2023" postponed to March 2024
The 13th African Games which was originally scheduled to be held in Accra this year has been postponed to March 2024 to allow for the completion and testing of facilities that would be used during the event.
The multi-sport event will still be called "Accra 2023" despite taking place between March 8, 2024, and March 23, 2024.
This was made known by the Coordinator of the African Union Sport Council, Dr Decius Chipande today at a press briefing in Accra.
Dr Chipande told pressmen that the Council after an inspection tour had received assurances from the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) of the Games that all the facilities that would be used during the event would be completed and tested by December 2023.
12 Olympic qualifiers
On his part, the Executive Chairman of the LOC, Dr Kwaku Ofosu-Asare said athletes and officials were expected to arrive in the country between March 5-7, 2024, for the games.
He also disclosed that 12 of the proposed 24 competitive sporting disciplines that will be honoured during the games will serve as qualifiers for the 2024 Olympics following approval by the President of the Association of African Sports Confederations (AASC), General Ahmed Nasser and the President of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA), Mustapha Berraf.
They include; athletics, basketball 3x3, badminton, beach volleyball, cycling and judo. The rest are swimming, tennis, table tennis, triathlon, volleyball and wrestling.
He said this would increase the value and marketing potential of the games because more top athletes would flock to participate.
Dr Ofosu-Asare also expressed gratitude to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and all stakeholders for their invaluable support to the success of the games.
Raising concerns about the new date, the President of the Ghana Athletics Association, Bawa Fuseini said the proposed date would be "highly unfavourable" to African student-athletes who would be participating in indoor events in the United States of America (USA).
Mr Fuseini stressed that if indeed the event was meant to assist African athletes to qualify for the 2024 Olympics then the date had to be reconsidered because it clashed with the indoor circuit in the USA which runs between December 2023 and March 2024.
Dr Ofosu-Asare assured that consultations would be held to resolve the concerns of the said athletes.