Cameroon Rush To Complete Olembe Stadium Amid Set Deadline
Cameroon government is stepping up completion of Olembe Stadium which is marked as the host for opening and closing ceremonies of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.
This follows an order from Confederation of African Football (CAF) to ensure the stadium is completed by end of November.
Cameroon’s Minister of Sports and Physical Education Narcisse Mouelle Kombi on Saturday urged the contractor to ensure that the facility is completed by the set deadline.
Kambi said it was unfortunate that the renovation had taken such a long time, but added that he was happy with the work done so far as the field will be a model stadium to the rest of the country.
CAF sent a letter to Cameroon stating if the construction work at the venue is not completed, another stadium will be chosen to host the opening ceremony and match.
Works at the stadium resumed last week after the CAF secretary general Veron Mosengo-Omba expressed concerns saying that since last visit on October 22 the project remained stalled.
“I am sorry to note that despite the many visits, in particular that of the president and the secretary general of CAF and the vice-president of CAF, the acts did not follow the promises,” letter from Mosengo-Omba reads in part.
“Regarding the Olembe stadium, be aware that if everything is not settled by November 30, 2021, the opening match will take place elsewhere. Measures have already been taken in this direction, but it would be unfortunate for the Organizing Committee, for CAF and for Cameroon.”
The bird nest shaped stadium, has been constructed on a surface area of 34 hectares in the Olembe neighborhood in Yaounde, some 13km from the city centre.
It has a capacity of 60,000 seats all covered, two training stadia with 3000 seats each, play grounds for other disciplines; handball, basketball volleyball, tennis, an Olympic swimming pool, a hotel, shopping mall, five restaurants and 6000sqm for VIP hospitality.
The 2021 Africa Cup of Nations will be played at six stadia: two in the capital Yaounde, the new Japoma Stadium at Douala, with venues also in the towns of Bafoussam, Limbe and Garoua.