NSA closes Accra stadium in December, leaves clubs in venue dilemma
Accra Hearts of Oak, Accra Great Olympics, Accra Lions and Dreams FC are facing venue crisis for their home games in both the domestic league and CAF inter-club competitions following a decision by the National Sports Authority (NSA) to close the Accra Stadium to regular football activities starting next month, a situation which will leave the clubs in search of alternative venues.
A letter dated November 20, and signed by the Director General of the NSA, Prof. Peter Twumasi, conveyed the unavailability of the nation's premier sports facility to the four clubs. The communication, also copied to the Minister of Youth and Sports, informed the teams about the closure of the stadium in December to sporting activities and entreated the clubs to look for alternative venues.
This development has significant implications, particularly for the highly-anticipated 14th league week fixture between Hearts and Asante Kotoko scheduled for December 17 in Accra, as well as the 15th-week clash between Olympics and Kotoko on Christmas eve.
While Dreams FC host their league matches at the Dawu Park, their CAF Confederation Cup group stage encounters against Rivers United FC of Nigeria (December 3) and Academica do Lobito of Angola (December 20) at the Accra Stadium are now in flux. The NSA's directive implies that Dreams FC may need to relocate their continental matches to the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi, the only other approved facility for international matches.
The NSA's decision to close the Accra Stadium is rooted in the NSA's recent strategic shift towards revenue generation from non-sporting activities. While leveraging the facility's popularity during the festive season, it also disrupts the traditional use of the stadium for football matches during this period.
The facility is already booked for the Freedom Wave musical show by Dancehall artiste, Shatta Wale, and the BHIM concert by Stonebwoy, both scheduled for December.