Saturday, September 23, 2023
SportNational ground facelift nears completion, eyes end to CAF blackout

National ground facelift nears completion, eyes end to CAF blackout

The 2023–24 Ethiopian Premier League (EPL) games are scheduled to be played at the Addis Ababa stadium, which has been under renovation for the past two years, according to the Ministry of Culture and Sports. 

Kejela Merdasa, the Minister of Culture and Sports stated that the capital city stadium is ready to host EPL matches starting next season, after the partial completion of the stadium renovation. 65 percent of the second phase has been completed, according to the Minister, who says the remaining work will be finished in the next three months.  

Grass seeds similar to those used in various African countries have been planted, says the Minister. The roof of the tribune stands, the running track, the infield, and remaining seats will be replaced in the second phase of renovation. 22,000 spectator seats have already been installed and the remaining seats will follow after the stands construction is complete.  

The surrounding construction will also continue after the stadiums internal repairs are finished, Kejela stated. According to reports, cable laying was done during the second part of the remodel to support VAR equipment.   

The renovations come after Addis Ababa Stadium was banned from hosting international competitions by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) for three years due to subpar facilities. This forced Ethiopia’s national team to play “home” games elsewhere.

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The decision also included stadiums in Bahir Dar and Hawassa said to be of higher quality. Because of this, the Ethiopian national team had to compete in venues located in neighboring nations. 

St. George FC, the 2022–23 Betking EPL champions, is expected to host a CAF Champions League match at Addis Ababa Stadium. As a result, the Addis Ababa venue will be listed as St. George FC’s home venue.

Once completed, the reconstructed Addis Ababa Stadium will once again serve as the premier venue for Ethiopia’s football teams and their fans. The stadium’s reopening will mark the end of a difficult period and the resumption of international competition on home soil.

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