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African Games 2023: Theodosia Okoh Hockey pitch remains uncompleted 72 hours to start of competition

With three days to the opening ceremony of the 2023 African Games, the Theodosia Okoh Hockey pitch is without a hockey turf.

The stadium is earmarked to host the hockey competition of the African Games but work is progressing slowly at the facility and time is fast running out.

Twenty-nine (29) sporting disciplines will be in action at the 2023 African Games, with eight disciplines serving as Olympic qualifiers for Paris 2024.

The Africa Hockey Federation initially announced that Hockey would kick off on March 15 and run till March 23. However, new information suggests the hockey start date has been moved to March 17 due to the unreadiness of the Theodosia Okoh Hockey Stadium.

According to Joy Sports sources, the hockey turf, which is being imported, will arrive in Ghana on Tuesday, March 5, 2024.

With the start of hockey pushed to March 17, it means Ghana has 12 days to fix the turf, test it and make sure it reaches the International Hockey Federation (FIG) standard for the games.

Ghana’s hockey teams themselves were underwhelming in South Africa in the 2024 Olympic qualifiers in November 2023. Both the men’s and women’s teams missed out on qualifying for the Olympics with the Men coming third while the Women placed fourth.

The authorities at the Ghana Hockey Federation have struggled to prepare the team for the African Games, with playing surfaces hard to come by.

The Theodosia Okoh Hockey pitch was given a pass to host the African Cup for Club Championship (ACCC) in 2021 and the Hockey Africa Cup of Nations in 2022 despite the playing surface not being up to International standard.

Who do we blame for this embarrassment?

Since the African Games is a unique event, the Local Organizing Committee are in charge of making sure the hockey pitch is ready for the tournament. So far, they have not delivered.

 

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