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Sports News of Friday, 17 July 2020

Source: 3 News

Kaladan Park: A fountain of football excellence needs facelift

After producing Abedi Pele, one of Africa’s most prominent players, the Tamale Kaladan Park in the Northern Region quickly became one of the most iconic football grounds in Ghana.

But what has the story of this taled grounds been?

Before the construction of the Aliu Mahama Sports Stadium in 2008 for that year’s Africa Cup of Nations, the Kaladan Park served the north for decades.

Hosting club games in the Ghana Premier League for Real Tamale United, the Kaladan Park was the pride of the north.

These days, the decent grass is lacking and hard to find on the pitch.

The ultra-modern Tamale stadium has overtaken this facility for major football games, leaving the management of this pitch in the hands of locals.

Sabonjida locals share fond memories of the pitch.

“This pitch has been outstanding for many clubs in the [Northern] Region and to be precise Tamale, Real Tamale United (RTU) because this is where they were dominant in the early 70s to the late 90s,” says indigene Sey Mubarick.

“This was the ground that the likes of Kumasi Asante Kotoko, Accra Hearts of Oak, Ebusua Dwarfs and the Hasaacas couldn’t get come and go away with the 3 maximum point,” he added.

Another indigene Baba Alhassan also continues: “This pitch has produced legends for Ghana, great players, players that Ghana football can never forget about.’’

The park is now at the mercy of adverse weather and nature after its abandonment.

Taken up by drenches, dead and wilted grasses, the Park is nothing to write home about.

Other facilities have seriously deteriorated including a basketball court that is now taken up by growing bush.

This park is now used by a community basic school with the football played on a grassless pitch, not a new thing in Ghana’s colts system, but for an iconic park like this, a more satisfying condition is expected.

Some of the patrons of this facility have reached out to the National Sports Authority to help renovate the facility.

“We have been praying for the government to come and support us, and not only government but the Ghana Football Association, Regional Football Association and corporate bodies because the pitch is not good for us,” local footballer Abdul-Rashid Issahaku told 3news.com.

“Our colleagues out there are playing on astroturf and nice pitches and we are here struggling even how to play is not easy for us.”

The rejected facility can hold over 5,000 people at a time. The degeneration of football infrastructure in Ghana is concerned.

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