By David Owen
Senegalese President Macky Sall has launched construction of a new 50,000-capacity stadium in the West African country that is destined to stage events at the 2022 Youth Olympic Games.
The future national stadium, in Diamnadio, is expected to cost €238 million, with work in the hands of the Turkish company Summa.
According to the allafrica.com website, last week’s event was attended by members of the national Government, as well as sports personalities including the former Liverpool footballer El Hadji Diouf, man of the match in Senegal’s celebrated 1-0 win over world champions France at the 2002 World Cup, and FIFA’s Fatma Samoura.
Sall told those present that he conceived the ambition to build the stadium in the wake of another World Cup match – that between Senegal and Poland at Spartak Stadium in Moscow in 2018. This game was also won by Senegal, this time 2-1.
“It was a large price,” he said, using the French word prix that can also mean ‘prize’. “I considered that Senegalese youth and Senegalese sport were priceless.”
The report indicates that Sall’s vision for the new stadium includes a future Africa Cup of Nations. This would be in addition to playing a role in Dakar 2022, the first Olympic event to take place in Africa.
Senegal hosted the continental football competition in 1992, when the trophy was lifted by Côte d’Ivoire, who beat Ghana 11-10 on penalties following a goalless draw.
Located a few hundred metres from the new Dakar Arena, another Summa project, the ‘Stade du Sénégal’ will comprise a football pitch in line with FIFA norms, two training areas and an athletics track.
“This future temple of sport will contribute towards making this city of Diamnadio an African and a global reference-point,” said Mamadou Ndiaye, the President of the Senegalese National Olympic Committee and International Olympic Committee member.
first published by insideworldfootball.com