Renovation of Accras Ohene Djan stadium has started in readiness for the next African Cup of Nations, which is to be hosted by Ghana in January-February 2008. The Osu stand has been pulled down to make way for a new facility as part of efforts to meet the 40,000-seat capacity requirement of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), which organises the competition. The running tracks are also to be replaced by additional seating. Other parts of the stadium, which is named after Ghanas first director of sports and the promoter of a national soccer league 45 years ago, are to be given a facelift. The refurbishment should cost just under $30 million. Over 125 people died at the Ohene Djan stadium during a football league match between Kumasi Asante Kotoko and Accra Hearts of Oak on 9 May 2001 after police fired tear gas to quell unrest between opposing supporters, causing a stampede.
Sporting activities will be held at the El Wak stadium, also in Accra, while the Ohene Djan stadium is closed.
Besides Accra, three other cities are seeing new building or renovation in preparation for the international event. The Baba Yara stadium in Kumasi, in central Ghana, is getting a $25.5 million overhaul while new stadiums are going up in southwestern coastal city of Sekondi and Tamale in the northeast.
The African Cup of Nations has been held every two years since 1968. The 2006 event was hosted by Egypt, which also won the tournament, while Ghana co-hosted the competition with Nigeria in 2000.