It is barely a month to September 5th, date of Liberia’s first 2012 African Nations Cup qualifying match against Zambawe at the Samuel Kanyon Doe (SKD )Sports Complex and the playing pitch is deplorable. A reporter of the New Dawn visited the area, he reports.
As I made my way into the SKD Sports stadium by passing through the ground walls of the VIP stands, the sparkling cream paints on these walls and the certifying fragrance of apparently one of the World best air fresheners greets me.
Few steps away from the central stage (the playing pitch) just a step from the VIP stairs right on the red and white track line, the red and white and blue beautiful national colors of the SKD Sports Stadium can be seen with great passion.
The wonderful designs of Liberia only home of international soccer extravaganza can only be a pride for any true patriotic citizen of Liberia. The environment is indeed encouraging for football followers to at all times be at not only international but every other soccer games. Revoltingly, the current look of “the SKD playing pitch” is very discouraging.
So patchy in several parts, the pitch of the nation’s pride, SKD, has a twin’s look of a just harvested rice farm. The worse is that ordinary grass has grown on the pitch in a way that the entire playing field is far from being what it was the day it was turned over to government after renovation works, far from being ready to host an international match.
This reminds me of what the Antoinette Tubman Stadium (ATS) looked like prior to the provision of an artificial carpet by the World football governing body; FIFA.
As I continually look at the central stage which should now be set for the September 5th 2010 Liberia versus Zimbabwe match, the bold headed areas now draws me closer this time slightly beneath the stadium’s gigantic electronic score board which is off at the moment.
I am now left with the thought of who do I talk to as it relates to the current condition of a pitch which, seven months ago, paid host to all of the semi and grand finals of the 2009/2010 national county sports meet.
“Good afternoon” the care taker of “the SKD playing pitch” who is begging not to be named for fear of losing his job greets me. After exchanging greetings, I decide to ask him about what exactly is happening to the pitch.
“It is four months since I engaged my Bosses about the need to prepare the playing ground for Liberia’s African Cup of Nations qualifying matches that are expected to begin later this year. It was actually during a senior staff meeting that I raised the issue. But until now, nothing has been done.” He said.
According to him, after athat meeting he immediately prepared a request for needed items inclusive of chemicals and tools that could help his team grow good carpets, but the authorities of the ministry did not comply.
I walk in the offices of the Ministry of Youth and Sports to get answers to several questions prowling in my brain. But everyone I was told to meet was either out of the office or too busy to talk to me.