Like stadiums in 21 other countries on the continent, Ouagadougou's Stade du 4 Août has been suspended by the Confederation of African Football (CAF). The stadium, which hosted the 1998 AFCON final, won by Egypt over South Africa (2-0), has not met international standards since March 2021.Initiated in October 2021, the renovation work, which was visited by a CAF mission to inspect the state of the stadium, now seems to be making some significant progress.
Ouagadougou's Stade du 4 Août has been undergoing renovation since October 27, 2021 for a period of 11 months, following the suspension of the stadium on March 2, 2021 by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) for non-compliance with international standards. September 2022 had been announced as the date for the first match of the Etalons of Burkina Faso, but the presentation of the state of progress of work on the refurbishment site had left many players in the Burkinabe sporting world perplexed. Far from being convinced by the details given by the company, Burkina Faso's leaders called in a mission of CAF experts to inspect the progress of the work. At the end of the inspection mission, the delegation led by Muhammad Feizal Sidat reported that "there is a lot to be done" regarding the state of progress of the renovation work on the August 4th stadium. Three months after this mission, the work has moved forward a little.
The program for this project, costing 23 million 275 thousand 144 dollars, includes the modernization and extension of the stadium's facilities, including the quality of the pitch. For evening matches, the pitch must be uniformly lit, with a minimum horizontal illuminance of 1,200 lux. There's also the cleanliness and layout of the changing rooms, the spectator areas, the spectator sanitary facilities, the media facilities, the general renovation of the stadium, the requirement to install the three scoreboards, the identification of viewers from their chairs, the requirement to install 6 masts, the quality of the pitch, and more.
On site, the workers are hard at work to get the enclosure ready. Seating has already begun, to the great satisfaction of the public. The installation of projectors, sound systems and video surveillance has also begun and is continuing. As for the changing rooms, a new plan will be submitted to the Confederation of African Football (CAF) for approval.
Why is rehabilitation work taking so long?
After more than two years and several ministers at the head of the sports department, the end of the tunnel is not in sight. According to Boubakar Savadogo, the current Minister of Sport, half the budget for renovating Ouagadougou's Stade du 4 Août has almost been used up. Hearings have been held by the gendarmerie in connection with the Stade du 4 Août affair.In his opinion, the stadium will not be ready in 2023 and the Etalons will continue to play their matches away from home.
It's time for the Burkinabe authorities to take responsibility, so that the country can once again have a stadium that meets international standards, to the delight of the sporting public, who are obliged to follow the Etalons' matches in front of the small screen.