The Ministry of Youth and Sports (MYS) and the Liberia Football Association have expressed optimism that the Samuel Kanyon Doe (SKD) Sports Stadium will be qualified by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to host international matches.
MYS, with support from the national government, has over the months continued renovation works at the SKD after it was banned by CAF in May.
CAF inspector Emmanuel Dasoberi of Ghana, who earlier inspected the stadium from August 2-3, 2021, conducted the final inspection on Sunday August 8, to inspect some finishing touches that were carried out by the ministry.
“We are hopeful that we will have our home matches played here at the SKD, because we think we have done our best. This is not the end work because it is a work in progress,” Minister Zoegar Wilson said.
Min. Wilson also disclosed the approval of US$519,750 by the government for the purchasing of over 35,000 bucket seats that will eventually be placed at the stadium. The seats are expected to arrive in December of this year.
The CAF stadium inspection is meant to ensure that matches are hosted in facilities that meet international standards, particularly for the safety and security of the stakeholders – players, officials, and fans. It is also in preparation for international fixtures, including the 2021 AFCON and 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
Some of the works completed by the ministry include, the reconditioning of the home and away dressing rooms with the installation of seating and lockers, hot and cold water faucet showers in the bathrooms, the fixing of the referees room (fully air conditioned with running water), anti-doping room, fire control room, venue operating system control room, medical room, and a media center, among others.
Additional medical equipment, including ventilators, first aid kits, and stretchers have been placed in the medical room, a private accessible and fully equipped room dedicated to the treatment of players, staff and fans.
The front of the VVIP, formerly the VIP section, has been transformed to a media post, a section of the stands designated by FIFA for the exclusive use by Media Representatives to report on a match taking place within such Stadium.
With the new partition of the stadium, the section of the stands initially known as Around VIP, has become the new VIP, while Stadium Wing has become Around VIP.
The Lone Star are scheduled to host their first home match against Central African Republic after their first match away to Nigeria in early September.
If the SKD is not approved to host the international matches, the government and the Liberia football house will now look out to neighboring and partner countries with approved stadiums for the hosting of their home games.