The aged Addis Ababa stadium, which has been under renovation since last year, is awaiting an additional budget for completion, the Ministry of Culture and Sport says. The stadium’s renovation is expected to be finished within a year.
Though 39 million birr was thought to be sufficient to complete the renovation work, little has been done so far.
“The first phase of the renovation included planting grass for the pitch and revamping the restrooms and dressing rooms,” Mesfen Chernet, State Minister of Culture and Sports, told The Reporter. “The rest of the second phase of the renovations awaits an additional budget.”
The then Ethiopian Sports Commission and Friends Engineering signed an agreement to renovate the stadium and began work on it, but the project was not completed by the project deadline.
The first phase of renovation was completed with funds already set aside, and Mesfin says they are preparing to begin the second phase when this year’s additional budget is released.
Mesfin, who declined to reveal the amount of money set aside for the second phase, stated that the roof of the tribune seating area, running track, runway, and seats will be renovated. He also pointed out that the football pitch seeds are similar to the grass found in African stadiums.
“We hope to finish the renovations, meet the main FIFA and CAF requirements, and have the stadium ready for competition,” Mesfen said.
Despite the fact that the ministry has stated the renovation is ongoing, the agreement between the contractor and the ministry has been delayed due to a lack of funds. The renovations have been halted for two weeks due to the ministry’s inability to release the budget agreed upon by the two parties.
Mesfen, on the other hand, claims that the renovations have not been halted and are continuing as planned.
Due to Ethiopia’s lack of CAF or FIFA-compliant stadiums, the national team has been forced to play international home matches in other countries while paying stadium rent. Addis Ababa Stadium has not hosted a game in over a year.