Mrs Ekombe née Wanki Pascaline, Director of Limbe Omnisports Stadium, talks on the facility's readiness to host continental matches next month.
The Limbe Omnisports Stadium is one of the two to host the female AFCON from 19 November, 2016. Exactly one month to the competition, how ready is the arena?
I want to say that at this moment we are ready to host the 2016 AFCON. We are ready because there are specific aspects that CAF expects a stadium to have to be able to host a competition of this nature. I will begin by citing the administrative block. In this bloc of the stadium; they expect us to have four dressing rooms. These four dressing rooms are ready with cupboards, toiletries and a massage room.
We have the conference room for press conferences before and after the matches. We have the VIP lodges to host official delegations from the various countries. We have the control room, and the medical room already equipped. That is for what concerns the administrative block. Let’s move now to the field proper. A competition of this nature must have good play grounds. A playground has been constructed already and equipped with substitution benches and corner poles. Everything is set to host these matches. If we move out of the field, we have the parking lodges around the Limbe Ominisports Stadium with different categories of parking spaces.
We have the VIP Lodge that is made for vehicles of the team officials and other administrative authorities that will come to watch the matches. We have different external parking spaces already. We also have the access roads into the stadium constructed. In addition, there are two other access roads from the stadium under construction. There is one linking the stadium right to Karata and another one that will permit us to have access through Bojongo to Buea. All these are indications that we are ready. CAF also expects us to have training grounds.
There are play grounds in Fako Division which are ready. We have the Centenary Stadium, Middle Farms and an annex stadium near the Omnisports, all in Limbe. There are also the Molyko Sports Complex and the Buea Town. Out of theses pitches that I have named, we are going to use just three as training grounds.
Who is in charge of to care for the turf? Is it Cameroonians or Chinese?
For now, we have the China Machinery and Engineering Corporation (CMEC) that constructed the Omnisports Stadium. We are working in collaboration with them; they are the people maintaining the stadium now. At the same time the Government has the intension to train young Cameroonians that will help. Notwithstanding 12 Cameroonians have already been trained in Bafoussam and redeployed to these pitches.
Are there any difficulties water and electricity?
For now most of the little problems we had have already been notified. We are very sure the little lapses will be corrected before the start of the games. We don’t really have many problems with water. We just need to dot the i’s and cut the t’s. We have water in the stadium but we want it to be very regular that water flows 24 hours on 24. We have a standby Generator but to ensure that we don’t have electricity failure, there is a second line that they are trying to connect from SONARA to the main stadium. If we do that, on no occasion shall we ever have power failure in the main stadium?
There is this criticism that the Stadium is not covered and spectators are terribly wet during rain. What is your reaction?
We know the first thing in life. We must appreciate what we have. The Limbe Omnisports stadium happens to be the first modern stadium that the Government constructed in the country. Now the Government has signed a contract already to do the western block of the stadium some of the equipment has arrived here already. But for now, the control mission advised that the work should be suspended until after the female AFCON because Limbe is very wet. Limbe is a sports loving population. When it rains the people do not border especially during the Cameroon Gambia match though it rained the population was there. For those who really love football, rain will not be an obstacle.