CAF rejects Ghana’s request to use Baba Yara Sports Stadium against Nigeria in the 2022 World Cup playoff.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has turned down Ghana’s request to play their 2022 World Cup qualifier playoff at the Baba Yara Stadium. The Ghana Football Association (GFA) was informed by the National Sports Authority last month to consider playing the game away from the Cape Coast due to the upcoming Independence Day celebration on March 6. The Baba Yara Stadium was considered for the first leg of the playoff, which takes place next month before going to Abuja for the return fixtures in Nigeria.

The deadline for submission of venue was 24th December 2021. Ghana submitted the Cape Coast Stadium but due to the Independence Day Celebration in Ghana, the venue won’t be available for the match.

After the renovation of the Baba Yara Sports Stadium, the venue hasn’t been inspected by CAF to hold international matches so it can’t be approved, same as the Accra Sports Stadium.

In case Ghana reiterate the position to change the venue since there is no other approved venue in Ghana, The Black Stars will be requested to play against Nigeria in an approved stadium outside Ghana, and the venue must be selected from among the stadiums approved by CAF.

CAF Statement.

“The Fifa World Cup 2022 preliminary competition regulations in its article 21 venues, kick-off times and training sessions stipulate that “The venues of matches shall be set by the host association and/or by the confederation, as applicable, and the matches may only be played in stadiums that have been inspected and approved by the confederation concerned.

“The opponents and the Fifa general secretariat shall be notified by the host association and/or by the confederation, as applicable, at least three months before the match in question is due to be played.”

“24th of December 2021 was the deadline set by Caf for the participating national associations to select and communicate to Caf their preferred venue for the playoff round of the Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022 African qualifiers.

“Based on the venue selection received from each of the participating national associations, Caf has timely concluded the assessment of the selected stadium(s) and communicated to Fifa the venue decisions for the upcoming Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022 African qualifiers playoff round.

“Considering that matchday is in less than 30 days, Caf is not in a position to delay any further the confirmation of the match venue. As you are aware, the selection of the venue, respective date, and time of the match, has to be set well in advance having a direct impact on the preparation of match logistics and operations by all the concerned parties.

“Besides, please note that Kumasi Sports Stadium is currently non-homologated by Caf to host international matches since it has been under renovations and no Caf inspection was conducted to the stadium to re-assess the level of stadium compliance.

“Considering the above, the request of a change of venue is not accepted, hence the match Ghana Vs. Nigeria for the playoff round of the Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022 African qualifiers should be maintained at Cape Coast Stadium.

“In case your association reiterate the position to change the venue since there is no other approved venue in Ghana, your national team will be requested to play its upcoming Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022 African qualifiers playoff round match in an approved stadium outside its territory, and the venue must be selected from among the stadiums approved by CAF.”

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