Football-The Amitié Stadium’s controversy


12-May-2012

The IOIG gold medal-winning Seychelles team played their first match against the Comoros at the Amitié Stadium

But was there really a need for the Seychelles Football Federation (SFF) to stop matches at the newly built stadium?

The answer is “no”, said Ron Esther of the Ministry of Land Use and Housing’s Inner Island’s office.

“It was never a question of us stopping the SFF from organising football matches at the Amitié Stadium. It’s their decision.

“What we were concerned with are the adequate fire safety installations and other health-related equipment after the SFF requested for an occupancy certificate for the commercial outlets situated under the main stands. Unfortunately, not everything was in place and the responsible agencies decided to hold back the occupancy certificate,” added Mr Esther.

The agencies responsible for inspecting any commercial building before an occupancy certificate is issued are the public health department, the Fire and Rescue Services Agency, and the quality assurance section of the Planning Authority within the Ministry of Land Use and Housing.

Among the works that need to be done, added Mr Esther, include connecting the fire hydrants to the Public Utilities Corporation (PUC) water line, looking for a bin site and installing water tanks for a three-day supply.

Although a conditional occupancy certificate has been issued, Sports Nation has learnt that the fire hydrants in the commercial outlets are still not connected to the PUC water line and the water tanks are not in place.

Meanwhile, SFF secretary general Jemmy Adela has said that the local football body’s executive committee decided to stop playing matches at the Amitié Stadium last week as it had not received an occupancy certificate for the grandstand and the playing field used for the first time during last year’s 8th Indian Ocean Island Games.

If this is the case, then how come the SFF only decided to stop playing matches at the Amitié Stadium last week when it used the venue after the IOIG, scheduling of all Praslin-based teams Côte d’Or’s and LightStars’ Barclays league division one second round home matches there late last year. The SFF even organised Land Marine Cup matches at the venue in 2011.

The same SFF executive committee again scheduled matches for the Amitié Stadium this year and the first top flight match to be played there was between LightStars and Anse Reunion on Saturday March 17.

Should an occupancy certificate be issued after a new stadium has been built?
Again the answer is “no”, according to Mr Esther.

“Officials of the Planning Authority only monitor in the presence of the project’s engineer that the quality of the materials being used on the construction site are good and that the work is being done according to the approved plan,” said Mr Esther.
Who’s to blame then?

G. G.

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