Former Ghana Football Association Spokesperson, Ibrahim Sannie Daara, says the new CAF administration under the leadership of Patrice Motsepe is cracking down on bad football pitches across the continent.
This he says is in line with the administration’s vision to project African football to a standard at par with other continental football federations.
According to him, one of the basic means to improve on African football is for countries to invest in maintaining their pitches and facilities in top shape, in line with FIFA regulations.
“President Patrice Motsepe has been saying pitches because the pitch –the other facilities are important, but the pitches are what people see with their eyes. And when people see these games these days African football, you know, during the AFCON it was telecast around 150 countries across the world.
“And if you have dodgy pitches, potato farm-like pitches, it sends a bad image of African football. So it is about time that not only Ghana but countries across Africa realize that there is a new wind of change blowing and that is to expect that there are some level of quality of pitches,” he said on JoyNews’ PM Express Tuesday.
His comments come in the wake of Ghana petitioning the CAF to change venue from the Cape Coast Stadium to the Baba Yara Stadium ahead of the Ghana Black Stars and Nigeria Super Eagles clash on March 20.
This was after the state of the pitch deteriorated following the Independence Day activities held at the Stadium.
Sannie Daara further added that the state of the pitches were also important in order to assure international players of their safety while playing on the pitches.
He explained that some European teams have been apprehensive about their star players coming to play in Africa partly due to the state of pitches in Africa and the fear their players may be injured as a result.
“Apart from its beauty on television, and how it sells the African game, we have top quality players. Very very expensive footballers. Players some worth over 100million dollars and they’d come and play potato pitches and you’d have because of one bad pitch somewhere in the middle of Africa you’ll have a player that’s worth maybe 150million dollars getting injured on such a pitch. So it doesn’t bode well for African football.
“European teams are edgy when they hear that their players are going to play in Africa therefore as organisers of the game, as promoters of the game, we must make sure that at least the basic things like the pitch is good, the dressing rooms are good, the other facilities for broadcasters and the rest are good so we can showcase ourselves. If we want to get to the standard we consistently say African football must reach, we have to project ourselves well,” he said.
Meanwhile, a response from the CAF concerning the proposed change of pitch is expected in the next 24 to 72 hours.
This is after the CAF sent a Ugandan CAF inspection member to conduct an inspection of the pitch.
In the incident theGFA’s proposal to move the match to the Baba Yara stadium is rejected, Ghana will have to face off with the Super Eagles of Nigeria in a country of CAF’s choosing.