Monday, June 17, 2024

The Independence Stadium To be Completed Before June If…

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By: Muhammed Lamin Drammeh

The Minister of Youth and Sports, Bakary Y. Badjie, has told the Parliament that the second phase of the Independence Stadium renovation and remodelling project could be finished by June 2024, provided the necessary funds are available.

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Badjie highlighted President Adama Barrow’s commitment to providing the required funds.

The country’s main football stadium is still currently under suspension by the World Football Governing Body and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) for not meeting the requirements to host international games.

However, since the ban, the government of The Gambia, through the Ministry of Youth and Sports began renovating the stadium to meet the requirements set out by FIFA and CAF.

The pitch and stands have undergone a significant renovation. However, the current state of the stadium does not meet CAF’s requirements for non-football-related aspects such as the media centre and the exterior of the stadium. The Ministry is now preparing to commence phase two of the renovation to meet CAF’s standards.

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“There is a second and third phase of the project, and as we speak, we are getting into the second phase which was not part of the initial assessment done by the Ministry of Works,” Badjie informed the parliament.

During his address to the parliament, he further mentioned that the stadium is expected to be completed before the next international game in 2024 for Gambia, provided that sufficient funds are available.

“Our belief is that the stadium will be ready before the next international game of The Gambia, which will be in June 2024.
Now, according to the new assessment, the Ministry of Works projected the current phase will take four months.

“So, depending on the availability of funds, if we start in January, we should be able to finish by April. But again, one of the hindrances to the success of the project is the lack of funding and as we speak, that is what has been holding us.

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“However, the president was there recently, and he did indicate that the government will provide funds for the work to continue,” he told the National Assembly Members during the oral questions and answers session.

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