Accra – A team from Rugby Africa (www.RugbyAfrique.com) led by its President Herbert Mensah is in Ghana to inspect a dedicated Rugby stadium currently under construction in the capital Accra ahead of the All-Africa Games scheduled for March 2024.
Other members of the Rugby Africa inspection team include the Competitions Manager at Rugby Africa Johnbosco Muamba, the President of the Burkina Faso Rugby Federation Rolande Boro, and the President of the Togolese Rugby Federation Bedembda Bedinade.
The construction of the Accra rugby stadium started after an announcement of an agreement between all technical partners including the government of Ghana and the African Union to allow Ghana to host the All-Africa Games in 2024.
The tournament was originally scheduled for 2023 but was later postponed to March 2024.
“After extensive discussions with the Local Organising Committee of Ghana headed by Dr. Kwaku Asare, Rugby Africa will be participating in next year’s All Africa games,” Mensah said ahead of the Rugby Africa inspection tour.
“This has been confirmed. So we are expecting all the rugby nations in Africa to be present and to participate.
“The question is where do we play? We have national stadiums for football and other games. And Ghana has lots of that.
“But I am pleased to say that after extensive discussions with Ghana’s Local Organising Committee, it’s been confirmed that a dedicated stadium for rugby is being built currently.
“And we’ve been able to negotiate to a point where we are taking a team headed by some of our finest to go to the stadium at the University of Ghana and to have meetings with the contractors and those responsible for constructing the stadium to make sure that it is of the right standard for Rugby Africa”.
Mensah also said the Rugby Africa team in Accra will get into discussions with authorities on the suitability of the Accra rugby stadium and what is required for the construction of the stadium.
“Rugby Africa has great plans for the development of the game on the continent, one of which is to encourage countries and governments to build dedicated stadiums and parks for rugby matches and training at the same time. And no better way to kick it off than this one in Accra, Ghana,” said Mensah.
The infrastructure being built for the All Africa Games falls in line with Rugby Africa’s competition structure where regional and national infrastructure is critical.
“As we look forward as part of the Rugby Africa program, we understand that we need to relook, revisit our competition structure,” said the president of Rugby Africa.
“We need to look at a regional basis to operate so we can have regional competitions per country and hopefully one day for clubs at the same time.”
Mensah said he was hopeful for the future of Rugby Africa competitions.
“Venues to play obviously are fundamental to that. The stadium in Accra will provide an excellent hub,” says Mensah.
“We are looking at and talking to those in Abidjan and I know that in Abuja, Nigeria, they have a stadium which will also be allocated for playing rugby.
“And this allows us at the competitions committee of Rugby Africa to look very seriously at competitions regionally organised and knowing that we have the right kind of stadia, the right kind of infrastructure to support this beautiful sport of ours.”