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“I did not authorize closure of Accra Sports Stadium in December” – Sports Minister

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The Minister for Youth and Sports, Mustapha Ussif, has disclosed that he did not give authorization to the National Sports Authority (NSA) for the closure of the Accra Sports Stadium in December 2023.

The decision by the NSA led to the stadium hosting social events, including Stonebwoy’s BHIM concert, instead of sporting activities. This forced Accra Hearts of Oak, Accra Lions and Accra Great Olympics to move their home matches to other league centers including the Baba Yara Sports Stadium.

Some Hearts of Oak fans claim that the switch of home grounds affected them, especially in the super clash where Hearts of Oak lost 3-1 to Asante Kotoko at the Baba Yara Stadium.

Upon facing the Public Accounts Committee on Monday, February 5th, the Minister of Youth and Sports denied playing a role in the decision.

He said, “The main purpose of our sporting facilities is for us to use those facilities to develop talent and also for competitions whether national or international.”

He further explained, “No, I did not authorize the closure of the Accra Sports Stadium in December. I am aware the stadium was closed and I did call the Director General (Peter Twumasi) to ask.”

According to him, he is particularly concerned about the decision, knowing that hosting musical shows at the stadium could damage the quality of the pitch.

“My major concern was the pitch. Even though the NSA by law has the authority to manage all the sporting facilities for us and to ensure they are in good shape, with a major tournament like the Africa Games coming, and the ongoing premiership, my major concern is how much we are getting from these social events that we are giving out these facilities for,” he said.

According to the Minister, he has discussed the issue with Peter Twumasi, the Director General of the NSA, and requested that renting out the stadium for social events should stop going forward.

“It’s something that I have engaged the Director General on that going forward this should not be done because at the end of the day whatever you get from these social events might not be able to maintain the pitch,” he emphasized.

Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Pius Asack|Ghana

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