A delegation of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), led by its 1st vice-president Augustin Senghor, is currently in Cameroon to inspect the sports and hotel infrastructure selected to host the 2021 African Cup of Nations (AFCON2021). Yesterday Wednesday 20, the delegation visited Roumdé Adjia stadium and the training grounds in Garoua (North), where it particularly focused on the state of the turf.
The CAF requires all of its competitions and matches to be played on quality turf. Indeed, the first requirement for its members to obtain approvals for their stadiums is the quality of the pitch. "The pitch must be smooth and level. It must be made of natural grass or artificial turf and in perfect condition. If it is natural grass, an efficient watering system must be installed to allow the use of the pitch in dry weather. Also, a lawn care and mowing system must be installed. In the case of artificial grass, there should be a FIFA field certificate not older than two years,” the CAF requires.
In Cameroon, the main problem pointed to criticize sports infrastructures is the poor care. Hence, by focusing on the quality of the turf, CAF and FIFA intend to address this shortcoming. The two organizations initiated a series of training and capacity-building workshops focusing particularly on lawn care.
The last workshop of this kind was held last October 14-15 at the Olembe Stadium in Yaoundé. According to Minister of Sports Narcisse Mouelle Kombi, who is also chairman of the AFCON national organizing committee COCAN, during each of the workshops, CAF-FIFA experts offered next generation mowing and lawn care equipment for the various stadiums.
Recently, CAF prohibited several stadiums in many African countries from hosting matches counting for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers. The reason was that they were not up to international standards. Those countries’ national teams had to find neutral countries with approved stadiums to play their qualifier matches. An example is the case of CAR- Cape Verde match played on September 1, 2021, at the Japoma stadium (one of the stadiums to host the AFCON2021) in Cameroon.