Ghana Football Association’s request to host Black Stars 2022 World Cup qualifier against Nigeria at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium has been thrown out by the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
Ghana will play the Super Eagles in the first leg of the 2022 World Cup play-offs next month with reports of the game being moved to Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi after the country hosted all the group stage games in Cape Coast.
The GFA submitted two home venues that is the Cape Coast Sports Stadium and the Accra Sports Stadium for the World Cup qualifiers.
Nonetheless, the National Sports Authority released a statement on the unavailability of the Cape Coast Sports Stadium to pave way for preparations ahead of Ghana’s Independence Day celebrations on March 6, leaving Accra Sports Stadium as the official venue.
According to CAF, the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi will not be able to host the games per their statement.
Below is a full statement from CAF:
“The Fifa World Cup 2022 preliminary competition regulations in its article 21 venues, kick-off times and training sessions stipulates that “The venues of matches shall be set by the host association and/or by the confederation, as applicable, and the matches may only be played in stadiums that have been inspected and approved by the confederation concerned. The opponents and the Fifa general secretariat shall be notified by the host association and/or by the confederation, as applicable, at least three months before the match in question is due to be played.”
“24th of December 2021 was the deadline set by Caf for the participating national associations to select and communicate to Caf their preferred venue for the playoff round of the Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022 African qualifiers.
“On the 23rd of December 2021, GFA informed Caf that Cape Coast Stadium was the venue selected for the playoff round of the Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022 African qualifiers.
“Based on the venue selection received from each of the participating national association, Caf has timely concluded the assessment of the selected stadium(s) and communicated to Fifa the venue decisions for the upcoming Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022 African qualifiers playoff round.
“Considering that matchday is in less than 30 days, Caf is not in a position to delay any further the confirmation of the match venue. As you are aware, the selection of the venue, respective date, and time of the match, has to be set well in advance having a direct impact on the preparation of match logistics and operations by all the concerned parties.
“Besides, please note that Kumasi Sports Stadium is currently non-homologated by Caf to host international matches, since it has been under renovations and no Caf inspection was conducted to the stadium to re-assess the level of stadium compliance.
“Considering the above, the request of change of venue is not accepted, hence the match Ghana Vs. Nigeria for the playoff round of the Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022 African qualifiers should be maintained at Cape Coast Stadium.
“In case your association reiterate the position to change the venue since there is no other approved venue in Ghana, your national team will be requested to play its upcoming Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022 African qualifiers playoff round match in an approved stadium outside its territory, and the venue must be selected from among the stadiums approved by CAF.”