A team from Rugby Africa led by its President Herbert Mensah are 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, Rugby Africa, Johnbosco Muamba, President of Burkina Faso Rugby Federation, Rolande Boro and the President of 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 Organizing Committee of Ghana headed by Dr. Kwaku Asare, Rugby Africa will be participating in next year’s All Africa games. This has been confirmed. So we are expecting all the rugby nations in Africa to be present and to participate”, Herbert Mensah said ahead of the Rugby Africa inspection tour.
He added, “The question is where 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 Organizing Committee, it’s been confirmed that a dedicated stadium for rugby is currently being built. 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”.
Herbert 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 construct of the stadium.
“Rugby Africa has great plans for developing the game on the continent, one of which is to encourage countries and governments to build dedicated stadiums and parks for rugby matches and trainings 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 aligns with Rugby Africa’s competition’s 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 competitions structure. We need to look at a regional basis to operate so we can have regional competitions per countries and hopefully one day for clubs at the same time”, added the President of Rugby Africa.
Herbert Mensah is 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. 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 organized and knowing that we have the right kind of stadia, the right kind of infrastructure to support this beautiful sport of ours.”