Flashback to 2008 when Ghana’s football was so exceptional to the level that 4 world-class venues were presented to the organisers of AFCON 2008. Ohene Djan Sports Stadium and Baba Yara Sports Stadium were renovated to a modern standard with a 40,000 seater capacity each.
Sekondi Takoradi Stadium and Tamale Stadium were newly built for the tournament with a 20,000-seater capacity for each, additionally. These were luxurious venues with titan tracks for athletics.
The Tamale Stadium in 2017 was renamed after the late former vice President Aliu Mahama. The venue serves as the home ground for Real Tamale United, Steadfast FC Northern Ladies FC and Ghana National Football Team. It also serves as a place for hosting events like music concerts and conferences.
On Saturday afternoon, Karela hosted Accra Hearts of Oak in MD9 of the betPawa Premier League. Startimes cameras captured every angle of the pitch and the pitch looked horrible and unfit for football. No amount of words can describe the nature of Aliu Mahama Stadium’s pitch. It is disgraceful to use such pitches for football. The venue is weeping for help but it seems no one is ready to help the venue stop weeping.
This is a venue named after a very popular and honourable Ghanaian politician, Aliu Mahama, former vice president of Ghana between 2001-2009. He is the 3rd vice-president of the 4th Republic.
National Sports Authority has failed and failed miserably regarding the maintenance of our sports venues. They do not maintain it and have no plans for building a modern one for the country.
Per CAF and FIFA regulations, only Baba Yara Sports Stadium among all the 5 national venues qualifies to host any CAF and FIFA-organised competitions.
Medeama SC and Dreams FC’s CAF Champions League and Confederation Cup respective campaigns will be hosted in Kumasi due to the poor state of the other venues. The Black Stars of Ghana will also play against Madagascar in Kumasi for the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers opener.
Stakeholders in Ghanaian sports must all come together to solve the problem as soon as possible else Ghana will join the irresponsible list of countries who will play their games outside their countries.
Ethiopia, Sao Tome, Burkina Faso, Somalia, Guinea, Niger and Chad are the countries that will play their 2026 World Cup Qualifiers home games in Morocco. If nothing is done about the sorry state of our venues, Ghana will soon join the aforementioned irresponsible countries.