Despite concerns raised by some countries over the use of artificial pitches, Ghana has embraced the plan as the Tema Park, laid with the new pitch surface goes into use this weekend when the domestic league resumes.
Tanzania and Uganda have had some reservations over the new surface which forms part of FIFA’s plan to provide each of the 53 member associations in Africa with an artificial pitch under its ‘Win in Africa with Africa’ project.
There was a discontent in Tanzania at the weekend when it became impossible to play a league tie at the country’s refurbished National Stadium as a recently laid artificial turf was not accompanied by a proper drainage network.
A torrential downpour rendered the pitch unusable because the drainage proved inadequate.
In Uganda, a recently laid artificial pitch has been severely criticized by some conservationists, including a senior government official, who maintain that certain environmental issues were not taken into consideration before the pitch was laid.
However, premiership football in Ghana would test the surface as the OneTouch Premier League bounces back after almost a month’s break due to the African Nations Cup.
Ghana’s Professional League Board – PLB, has confirmed that the Tema Park, which is the first national artificial pitch funded by FIFA’s ‘Win in Africa with Africa’ project would be use beginning this weekend.
FIFA President, Sepp Blatter who unveiled Ghana’s artificial pitch a day before the start of the African Nations Cup in Accra says the new surface is feasible for the game.
“I think it’s now time in this region to think about artificial turf. Artificial turf is a solution, you can use it more than just once a week,” Sepp Blatter told BBC Sport.