What was meant to be a multi-purpose sports facility for national teams is now inhabitable as rubbish and snakes have taken over the facility.
That is the present condition of the Azumah Nelson Sports Complex.
Instead of grooming the next generation of sportsmen and women, the facility now has become a condemned piece of architecture good for refuse and reptiles.
Also known as the Kaneshie Sports Complex, the facility was built during the era of the Supreme Military Council under General Acheampong in the 1970s. It served as a training base for teams during AFCON 1978 which Ghana hosted and won.
Since then however, years of neglect have placed on the back burner of the plans of the people running sports in Ghana.
The compound is bordered by walls of weeds and the basketball and hand ball courts have developed serious cracks.
The basketball court looks like it has been left behind in time.
At one end of the court, one basketball hoop is without a net while the other pole and backboard are desperately rusting away. Sadly, there is no hoop on this one.
The football pitch is without grass while the perimeter around the pitch is surrounded by high grass which is home to reptiles who have found a way to use the facility well enough for their own purposes.
The facility is supposed to sit 10,000 spectators but its current will struggle to get even ten people to be there.
The facility was previously used for football matches with both Accra Hearts of Oak SC and Great Olympics playing league matches at the ground while the Ohene Djan Stadium was being renovated in 2007.
Will the complex ever get fixed?
Various governments have made promises to upgrade the facility to its stature as a functioning multi-purpose sports center but none has made good on their promises.
In September 2015, the Ministry of Youth and Sports signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a UAE company (Thumbay Group of Companies) to undertake assessment of the facility and proceed with renovation.
Then Sports Minister Mustapha Ahmed took a trip to the UAE for this purpose and said on his return; “We are looking forward to commencing this project, which we hope will produce top athletes for the nation after renovation works are done”.
In April 2017, current Sports Minister Isaac Asiamah announced that the facility would be redesigned at a cost of $4 million.
Dr. Owusu Ansah, Technical Director at the ministry, disclosed that the new design was ready and would accommodate football, volleyball, handball, basketball, swimming and tennis facilities when completed.
Nine months later, no work has been done at the facility and one look at it quickly takes the mind to the word US President Donald Trump recently used in describing some countries.
By: Citi Sports