Mar 10, 2011, 2:15 PM
Independence Stadium manager Ebou Faye has stated among other things that the Independence Stadium will be ready for use when the Scorpions resume their World Cup qualifying campaign in June.
The following is an interview Pointsport had with the Independence Stadium manager Ebou Faye on the state of the national stadium:
Pointsport: What is the level and standard of the stadium presently?
Faye: The standard of the stadium is being improved slowly to ensure it meets the expectations of the public. The running track is under rehabilitation and the toilets and sanitation facilities will soon be upgraded.
There are still immense challenges to rehabilitate everything that requires maintenance as there has been no major maintenance of the stadium since its inception in 1984.
Pointsport: Do you think the stadium will be ready in time to host Gambia’s home matches, especially against the Elephants of Ivory Coast?
Faye: The playing ground will be fully ready for the match as it is going to be one of the most important matches in Gambian football.
Pointsport: The Independence Stadium was rated by Senegalese coach as not a good pitch during his visit in The Gambia for a potential shifting of their matches to The Gambia. What is your reaction to this?
Faye: At the time the Senegalese came for inspection the running track was being removed and the football ground was not watered. The coach’s objection was that the field was hard and it was explained to them that the ground has not been watered for a while. That was the only objection the Senegalese inspection team did raise during their visit about the stadium.
Pointsport: How can the stadium be upgraded to meet international standard?
Faye: There should be a major maintenance of the stadium; i.e. the scoreboard, the PA System, toilets and sanitation, fittings and fixtures, etc. which requires lot of resources.
Pointsport: Have you thought about doing it in the near future?
Faye: It’s a must as these are fundamental in any stadium.
Pointsport: What about the Independence Stadium Friendship Hostel?
Faye: The rehabilitation has already started as all the rooms are painted, the toilets upgraded, the hall painted and the reception and exterior of the hotel will soon be painted.
The kitchen and the reception area will also be upgraded to enable the hotel to host gala dinners and musical shows. The hotel is the heart of the stadium as the major revenue generating area. As such, it’s imperative to improve the standard, which we have embarked upon.
Pointsport: Do you think it can be revived to its glory days when it used to lodge many guests and events?
Faye: That is the objective and with the vision we have it will be definitely achieved.