Stadium Woes in Africa, Caribbean
FIFA has told Democratic Guinea, Sierra Leone, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Barbados home matches will be moved to neutral ground if their stadiums are not improved immediately.
The African Cup, which is also an Olympic qualifier, begins on May 30; FIFA is trying to confirm match sites by April 18.
Congo’s federation says it unlikely to finish renovations to the Stadium of Martyrs in Kinshasa in time.
Guinea will have to pass inspection on security upgrades on April 11 if the team wants to play its matches at September 28th Stadium in Conakry.
Sierra Leone has already named Independence Stadium in Banjul, Gambia, as its neutral venue. However, the government pledged to invest the funds necessary to have the Sierra Leone National Stadium in Freetown ready by May 10.
Barbados has until April 11 to complete repairs to the Kensington Oval stadium. Its next qualifier will be on June 21 against the United States.
All four national federations were given warnings last year.
FIFA Debunks 2010 Rumors
FIFA denied the 2009 Confederations Cup was in jeopardy of being cancelled construction delays and infrastructure issues. FIFA spokesman Andreas Herren told African media the UK media report is “unsound and having no relation to the facts.”
He also reiterated FIFA has insurance for the 2010 World Cup and denied the UK media claim the federation is building a reserve in case of cancellation.
“As per the host organizing association agreement, FIFA, as the rights-holder, and the
Local Organizing Committee both have insurance,” Herren said.
President of the All India Football Federation, Priya Ranjan Dasmuns i, and Joint Secretary of the Indian Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Injeti Srinivas, met FIFA President Sepp Blatter and President of the Asian Football Confederation Mohamed bin Hammam on April 7. They discussed the “Win in India” initiative enacted a year ago to develop football in the country. “Twelve months on, I have no doubt that Indian football is on the right track and following the economic, social and cultural development of this huge nation,” said Blatter.
Roughly 60 officials from African countries will attend the FIFA- Confederation of African Football Match Commissioners’ Workshop in Cairo, Egypt on April 17, according to Nigerian media. Attendees will discuss the smooth running of the African Cup beginning in May and the 2010 World Cup.
Written by Eric Connelly
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