Whether the Samuel Kanyon Doe (SKD) Sports complex will be cleared to host Liberia’s home games in the upcoming FIFA World Cup African qualifiers will depend on a communication from the Confederation of African Football (CAF) next week following an inspection exercise at the stadium.
The stadium was inspected by CAF inspector Emmanuel Newton Dasoberi of Ghana from August 2-3, 2021. Mr. Dasoberi inspected renovation works carried out by the Ministry of Youth and Sports for the past months.
The inspection exercise 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.
The SKD was in May banned from hosting international matches because it did not meet the minimum stadium requirements.
The ban was temporarily lifted by CAF until “further assessment is conducted.”
The Ministry of Youth and Sports has been working against time to improve the condition of the stadium. Some of the works completed by the ministry include, the reconditioning of the home and away dressing rooms with the instillation of seating, hot and cold water faucet shower in the bathrooms, the fixing of the referees room, anti-doping room, fire control room, venue operating system control room, medical room, and a media center, among others.
The government, through the ministry of Finance and Development Planning, is said to have approved the allotment of funds for the purchase of over 35,000 bucket seats for the stadium’s seating capacity.
The CAF inspector, according to the Liberia Football Association, will report to FIFA, through CAF, who will inform Liberia next week as to whether it will host the qualifiers, which start in September.
CAF President Patrice Motsepe, during his visit to Liberia, said the continental football body will continue to work with Member Associations in order to improve the targeted points at national stadiums, as it is also the duty of CAF to ensure the Member Associations have facilities that meet international standards.