Sports Authority makes U-turn on use of Baba Yara for funeral

The Director-General of the National Sports Authority, Robert Sarfo Mensah, has said no official directive has been given to reserve the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi for funerals on Saturdays despite claims to the contrary by the Authority’s office in the Ashanti Region.

Mr Sarfo Mensah, however, admitted that some unofficial discussions had taken place on the matter, and the Authority was considering the move.

The Director of the National Sports Authority in Ashanti Region, Joshua Mensah, had revealed this development at a news conference, explaining that such a move had become necessary because of lack of funds.

Hiring out the stadium for funerals and other social activities was viewed as a viable source of income for the maintenance of the facility, which is reportedly deteriorating.

But speaking on Eyewitness News, Mr Sarfo Mensah urged Ghanaians to disregard the directive.

“Officially, the NSA has not taken any decision to ban football matches at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium. That is on record… no such decision has been made official so I call on all sports-loving Ghanaians and football lovers, the people who patronize our facilities on Saturdays, to disregard the directive. It is not official.”

A private meeting was held with the Director of the National Sports Authority in Ashanti Region regarding the management direction of the Stadium, and Mr Sarfo Mensah said he “made it very clear to him that this is a major policy decision and per corporate governance principles, even me as a Director General, cannot sit in my office and take such a decision until it goes to the board,” he added.

Thus, Mr Sarfo Mensah said he told the National Sports Authority in Ashanti Region to put the proposed move in writing “and attach a copy of the management meeting minutes to it to for me to forward it to the board for directives and advice.”

He also said an emergency management meeting had been called to discuss the matter next Monday.

The Baba Yara Sports Stadium was renovated for the Africa Cup of Nations in 2008, which was hosted in Ghana, but years of neglect has now left the facility in a poor state.

Mr Sarfo Mensah acknowledged the poor maintenance of the stadium over the years and said “plans are far advanced in correcting all these situations.

“So to a very large extent, there is the need to generate more IGF to keep the facility in a better shape and in doing that, we need to engage our key stakeholders very well to come level terms and go through the due process so we don’t create any tension in the system.”



Source: Sports News

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