On Wednesday, 6th March 2019, Ghana’s independence day celebration had a historic twist. For the first time since independence in 1957, the anniversary parade was held outside the capital of the country, Accra.
The Tamale Stadium (now Aliu Mahama Stadium) in the Northern regional Capital city of Tamale hosted the event. Amidst the military drills and parade was a rich cultural display of the people of Northern Ghana. The stadium prior to the event received a massive facelift with the whitewashed walls repainted and scoreboard remixed. It was put in pore position to receive all the guests that lined up for the event.
The pitch, which is one of the major features of the stadium, was rather on the other hand. It looked miserably dry with just small patches of green on the surface. One would ask the question, why wasn’t the field prepared or better still covered for the event? It truly was an embarrassment as it was shown for more than two hours on national television. The dry climate of the Northern part of Ghana is an already known fact and cannot be an excuse for not preparing for such an event of this magnitude.
The aftermath of the independence celebration seems to be a less important thought for the organizers. Football activities have resumed over the weekend in Ghana, with women’s football beginning. A game was played at this same venue and the condition was nothing to write home about.
If caring for the pitch of this stadium is a challenge, then agreeing with the school of thought that an artificial turf must be used, is just fairly. It will at least save the image of the edifice whenever it gets to hosts such events.
Artificial turf will also help football events since it will provide a standard surface for players rather than a terrible pitch.
The nation needs its priorities set right. Sports has always been the driving force for the people of Ghana and it’s facilities must always be in good shape, no matter the events that take place.