SportLifeFootball , Life, Life, Sport

Cameroon-Olembé Stadium: Pangolin Scales Falls Off

Before the 2022 Afcon, the Minister of Sports, project manager, had already utter some probes about the quality of the…

Before the 2022 Afcon, the Minister of Sports, project manager, had already utter some probes about the quality of the scales that were placed on this infrastructure. His doubt now appears to be real.

Taking care of the Olembé stadium requires approximately FCFA 2 billions. A huge amount making to question where Cameroun will get such a quantity of money.

Cameroon has made enormous sacrifices to equip itself with high standard stadiums for the African Cup of Nations, Afcon. A few weeks after Afcon 2021 delivered its verdict, the first setbacks are being felt.

In a letter from the Minister of Sports Prof Mouelle Kombi, dated June 24, 2021, seven months before the start of Afcon 2021, the latter already challenged the vice-president of international operations of Magil Construction on the quality of the scales of the Olembé stadium. 

The Minister of Sports also underscores, in the same letter, the problem linked to the roots of the equipment which was delivered not by a Chinese company instead of an Italian one. A new downside around this stadium which is already the subject of many controversies.

How can we make this stadium to be profitable when the Indomitable Lions can only host six games a year. Besides, there is the probe cling to future management  costs for the latter.

An infrastructure expert explains that for such equipment, the annual routine maintenance budget (apart from the parts to be renewed in ten to fifteen years) normally represents between 2% and 3% of the amount of the investment.

Where are we going to find the approximately 5 billion FCFA needed each year to maintain Olembé and Japoma? On the State’s budget? On entrance fees and advertisements?

That is uncertain, since international encounters which can attract a large audience, there will hardly be more than five per year. It is therefore to be feared that we will find these stadia totally abandoned, in the undergrowth, like the Kintele complex in the suburbs of Brazzaville in Congo, of which the authorities boasted so much at the inauguration.

Without forgetting that, during this time, it would be necessary to repay the very heavy debt for the construction of these sports infrastructures which not only will not bring much in terms of revenue but above all constitute a burden for public finances.

Only one solution remains, that of developing local football by transforming it into a real entertainment industry.