Two training stadia in Buea, South West Region expected to serve as training pitches for the 2019 African Cup of Nations, AFCON are fast losing beauty and appearance.
The outlook of the pitches fall out of course with government’s consistent moves to ensure that, it puts standard infrastructure at the disposal of the African sports family when the tournament rumbles off mid 2019.
Despite these moves, the Buea-Town Green Stadium and the Molyko Omnisport Stadium are out of touch with contemporary beauty of sports infrastructure for international tournaments.
Simon Mbua Njonje, Director of the Molyko Omnisport told The National Times that, the stadium is ready to be used for AFCON 2019 even though some maintenance works must be done before the event.
“As you can see, the stadium was reconstructed in 2015 and it was used during the women nation cup by visiting teams as their training ground. Immediately after the games, we shutdown training ground and it will only be open during the start of AFCON 2019”. Njonje explained.
On the lack of maintenance and neglect of the field, Njonje asserted that “since the training ground has not been used for 2 years now, it is obvious that many facilities must have stopped functioning but everything will be fixed in the coming months.”
Only 2000 seats of the 3200 in the stadium are available. The lighting system has crashed.
The Director of the stadium revealed that the chairs and lighting system were removed for security reasons.
“We decided to remove some of the chairs and the bulbs because we are afraid that they could be stolen or invaders might destroy the facilities” Njonje added.
The facilities were raised to standard in December 2015. In 2016, the structures played host to the women AFCON 2016 tournament.
Two years after, the sports infrastructure is over grown with grass, the paintings and other features that gave it a sharp appearance has diminished.
But for the dressing rooms, offices, media centre, two giant television screens, and cameras still in place, lights, athletic tracks, among others, are yet to see the light of day.
The poor state of the infrastructure contradicts its regular us for matches of the nation’s Professional football league. Clubs such as Union Sportive of Douala, Yong Sports Academy ,YOSA, of Bamenda, and Unisport of Bafang used the facility in the last football season.
The Buea-Town Green stadium like the Molyko Omnisport stadium is deficient in sporting facilities. Other amenities put in place at the time of its construction have depreciated. Critics argue that removing facilities for fear of the unknown from such an important infrastructure show a want in security.
The absence of a maintenance culture is a recurrent menace in the management of public assets in Cameroon.