Monday, June 17, 2024

Government Allocates Significant Funds for Gambia’s Sports Participation Amid Stadium Renovations

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By: Zackline Colley

The Gambian government allocated 200 million dalasis for the nation’s participation in the recently concluded 2022 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Ivory Coast. Additionally, it has recently allocated 22 million dalasis to fund the national football team’s World Cup qualifiers against Seychelles and Gabon.

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Due to the unavailability of the national stadium, which was banned by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) for being unfit to host international games, Gambia will play its home game against Seychelles in Morocco. Since the ban, all home matches have been held abroad.

The national stadium is currently undergoing renovations. The Minister of Sports informed the press that the second phase of renovations is expected to be completed by July. Once the renovations are declared fit by CAF, Gambia will be able to host international competitions again.

However, the renovation process has faced numerous delays. The government’s initial deadlines have repeatedly been extended due to incomplete work. The Minister explained that these delays are partly due to issues beyond the government’s control, such as delayed shipments of materials and payment issues with contractors.

So far, the Gambian government has spent 283 million dalasis on the first and second phases of the stadium’s renovation. Moving forward, the Ministry of Sports is placing a strong emphasis on aligning their efforts with the National Development Plan.

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