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D9.6M Banjul artificial Turf opens

Feb 28, 2011, 1:24 PM | Article By: Cherno Bobb

The honorary life President of the Gambia Football Association (GFA), Alh Ousman B. Conateh, on Saturday presided over the official opening ceremony of the D9.6 million artificial turf of the Banjul mini-stadium.

The project was jointly funded by Gamworks, Banjul City Council and the Government of The Gambia.

In his opening remarks on the occasion, O.B. Conateh said that football in Banjul has been a stepping stone for The Gambia over the years. "I hope that the opening of this artificial turf will bring back those glorious days," he said.

He thanked Gamworks for lending a helping hand to the development of football in The Gambia, calling on the agency to extend their support other sports in the country.

Speaking at the handing-over ceremony of the mini-stadium, the director-general of Gamworks, Ebrima Cham, said the mini-stadium with its new artificial turf will make a positive impact on football and youths within the municipality and the Greater Banjul Area.

Mr Cham described the ceremony as another important milestone in the fruitful relationship between Gamworks, the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Banjul City Council since the inception of Gamworks. This is not the first time the agency has intervened in the construction of mini-stadium, he says, adding that the rehabilitation works at the Banjul Mini-Stadium included removal of the existing topsoil, preparation of a compacted laterite base sealed with bitumen, laying of the artificial turf and its accessories like goalposts, construction of dwarf wall with chain-link fencing, and drainage.

"It is expected to address the previous problems of uneven levels of the field, uncultivable areas for soft landscaping, and the serious water-logging that have made it difficult for players to make use of the field in the recent past," he said.

Ebou Faye, secretary-general of the Banjul Sports Committee, thanked all those that contributed to the success of the project.

He also commended Banjulians for their patience and trust in the committee.

He said their "aim now is to have a 10,000 seater-capacity pavilion" to meet international standard, as part of their plan to develop football in the country.

Hon. Alagie Sillah says they are very happy and delighted as natives of Banjul to have benefited from the project, adding that it was not pleasant for him as a sportsman to watch football in Banjul due to the previous condition of the pitch.

Sulayman Bun-Njie, chairman of the National Sports Council, said: "This project is a dream come true for all natives of Banjul."

Two football matches were also played on the day. In the 3pm kickoff encounter, Banjul North defeated Banjul Central by 2-1 in which Malamin Singhateh scored both goals for Banjul North.

In the other game of the same day, Banjul South beat Tobacco Road by the same score line in a game played after the opening ceremony of the mini-stadium.