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Errors could have been avoided if Caf had been consulted

10 key requirements Gambia must meet to get approval

The Confederation of African football Caf has issued its preliminary inspection report on the state of the Independence Stadium which has been under a ban since February 2022.

The Gambia’s only national facility for international matches is undergoing renovations that the government says will remodel it to international standard.

Early this month, the ministry of sports said it has invited Caf to conduct a preliminary inspection tour of the facilities.

 In its report on this preliminary visit obtained by The Standard, Caf said while it commends the work currently ongoing, it has noted a while lot of standards that needs to be met and therefore cannot approve the stadium to host the  Gambia Vs Congo  match this September . It went on to state that during the inspection visit several errors were detected and highlighted in the stadium, which could have been avoided if Caf was consulted from the initial stages of the project. The full report of Caf and the ten requirements the Gambian stadium must meet communicated to the Gambian football and sports authorities reads:

“Reference to the CAF stadium preliminary inspection conducted in Gambia, to assess the ongoing renovation works in the Independence Stadium in Bakau, we would like to commend the stadium authorities for the implementation of the renovation project to meet the CAF requirements in the near future.

The inspection report has concluded that the stadium renovation project is still ongoing in several areas, some in advanced stages while other critical areas yet to be completed. Furthermore, during the inspection visit several errors were detected and highlighted in the stadium, which could have been avoided if Caf was consulted from the initial stages of the project.

We encourage the completion of the renovation program and the purchase of all required equipment in the stadium, so that CAF can in due course permanently approve the venue. The stadium refurbishment should be based on modern architecture, contemporary design, and quality materials.

Once again, we emphasise that quality stadiums are fundamental for the development and progress of African football, hence the regulations and its requirements compliance will be implemented strictly by CAF.

Taking into consideration the report and all the work required still to be completed, Caf is not in a position to approve the stadium as the venue for the Africa Cup of Nations Côte d’Ivoire 2023 group stage qualifiers Match Day 6 that will take place in September 2023.’’

The list of requirements for the Gambia’s stadium

1. Pitch and surrounding areas

Field of play

o          Grass under installation;

o          Ensure the installation of the hybrid pitch follow the FIFA standards;

o          Tracks areas needs to be covered with either artificial turfs or athletics track for a

good visibility.

Warm up area

A warm-up area for substitutes must be available along the touchlines or behind the advertising boards behind the goal. If the warm-up area is located behind the advertising boards behind the goal, it must be made of at least artificial turf which is a soft on 3rd generation;

If warm-up areas are behind each goal, the recommended dimension for each warm- up area is 3m x 30m for six players and two officials in each area. If it is more practical to place the warm-up area behind the assistant referee, the dimensions would depend on the stadium set-up.

Players’ Tunnel

 The tunnel in the stadium does not fulfill the CAF requirements international matches; The tunnel must be changed to meet the required minimum 2.4 meter height and 4 meters Wide.

The wall in between the two dressing’s rooms must be demolished to give more space for players and officials into the Field.


The stadium must be equipped with a minimum of 6 flagpoles.


For evening matches, the floodlights LUX capacity must be according to the CAF match requirements: A minimum 1200 Lux should be provided all over the pitch, covering uniformly every area of the playing field; engage expert company to conduct assessment.

Power Supply

A generator that is able to provide the equivalent light-intensity values instantaneously and without interruption must be available.

2. Teams, Referees and CAF Officials

Home and Visiting Team dressing room

Floor and Corridors need to be equipped with Anti Slippery flooring; installation of modern seats and lockers with high quality and design to meet high standards; installation of other equipment contained in the CAF regulations.

Referees dressing room

Floor and Corridors need to be equipped with Anti Slippery flooring; installation of modern seats and lockers with high quality and design to meet high standards; installation of other equipment contained in the Caf regulations.

CAF offices

Switch the CAF GC office to the stadium security office; create a dedicated toilet in the office; installation of proper office furniture internet, Printer and Scanner must be permanently installed;

3. Medical-related areas

First-aid and treatment facilities for players and officials

o          The medical room needs to be equipped with all the requirements mentioned by CAF

o          The stadium must be equipped with a dedicated room for first aid and medical treatment of players and officials which must be equipped with the following requirements:

o          One (1) examination and treatment table.

o          Emergency Medicaments.

o          Minor Surgery Supplies and equipment.

o          Automatic Ventilator.

o          Oxygen with appropriate masks/oral airway.

o          Splints (spinal Injuries and fractures of the limbs).

o          Stretchers.

o          Suction machine.

o          I/V Drip set with emergency injections and medication.

o          Defibrillator with rhythm and patient data recording (AED).

o          Cardiac monitor.

o          External cardiac pacing.

o          Central vein catheters.

o          Intubation equipment.

o          Blood sugar gauge and/or blood sugar test sticks.

Digital thermometer

o          Pulse oximeter.

o          Capnometer.

Doping Control Room

o          The doping control room needs to be equipped with all the requirements mentioned by Caf:

o          The doping control room must be equipped with the following requirements:

o          The doping control room must be near the team dressing room and it must be inaccessible to any person that is not involved with the doping control process unless an approval is granted by the Doping Control Officer.

o          It must comprise a waiting room, an office for the Doping Control Officer and

o          toilet area, all adjoining.

o          The waiting room must form part of or be immediately adjacent to the office of

o          the Doping Control Officer (a partition dividing the two (2) areas is also acceptable). -It must contain a TV, a refrigerator equipped with non-alcoholic drinks in sealed mineral water bottles, Wastepaper bin for bottles, a ventilator and sufficient seating for at least eight (8) persons;

o          The office of the Doping Control Officer must contain one (1) desk with four (4) chairs, one (1) lockable cabinet, a washbasin and a mirror, two (2) large wastepaper bins, one (1) desk for doping control equipment;

o          The toilet area must be immediately next to the doping control room, with direct private access. It must contain a seated toilet, toilet paper, a sink with running water, a mirror, towels, wastepaper bin and, if possible, a shower.

4. Spectator-related areas

Stands & Spectator Facilities

o          Installation of the seats not done correctly;

o          Seats must be reinstalled in a correct way to make easy passage for spectators.

o          Fixed individual seats must be individual, fixed (e.g. to the floor), separated from one another, shaped, numbered, made of an unbreakable and non-flammable material, and have a backrest of a minimum height of thirty (30) cm when measured from the seat.

Public Access & egress

-Signage is non-existent in the stadium;

– All public circulation areas, access and egress routes in each sector must be clearly

distinguished from the seating areas. All exit doors and gates leading out of the stadium must be clearly indicated and signposted (for example by means of internationally understandable pictograms);

– All exit doors and gates in the stadium, and all gates leading from the spectator areas into the playing area, must: be designed to remain unlocked (but their usage is manned) while spectators are in the stadium;

Open outwards into the field of play in the event of an emergency evacuation from the stands.

-Approaches to the stadium must be adequately signposted (for example by means of internationally understandable pictograms) to guide spectators to their sectors. Entry gates, exit gates and doors must be operational and similarly clearly indicated by signs which are universally understood;

o Stadium walls and perimeters are damage and require major uplift; Existing spectators gates are not appropriate for a football stadium; The Stadium must be equipped with modern electronic access controls and automated counting systems delivering real-time spectators’ attendance per sector and data analysis to the VOC and preventing the use of counterfeit tickets and overcrowding; Installation of fences all around the stadium to segregate zones and turnstiles; Modern turnstiles with automatic counting apparatus need to be installed;Parking areas for teams, official and supporters must be improved with cleardemarcation, separation and security of the zones.

VOC – Venue Operation Center

o          Complete the installation of professional VOC equipment and CCTV cameras and 

o          Emergency Lighting System

o          Install equipment Public Address System

o          Install equipment Giant Screen

o          Install equipment Sanitary Facilities for Spectators

o          Complete the renovations and installation of quality equipment First-aid facilities for spectators.

o          Install area and equipments. Facilities for spectators with disabilities

o          Install area and equipments.

Spectator Capacity & Attendance

o          Stadium safety certificate not provided. The stadium must receive a safety & fire certificate from the concerned local authorities in which they will set the permitted capacity for the stadium together with the detailed terms and conditions with which the stadium management must comply in order to operate the stadium at its permitted capacity.

Sanitary Facilities for Spectators

Complete the renovations and installation of quality equipment First-aid facilities for spectators is not available

Facilities for spectators with disabilities

Dedicated area for spectators with disabilities should be located in the stands (not around the playing field).

Parking areas

Parking space for a minimum of 2 buses and 10 cars for teams & officials. In particular, the areas on the right and left sides can be the team bus stops and the entrance of the players; Safe and secure parking area dedicated to VIPs & VVIPs must be available; Parking area dedicated to supporters must be available; Area outside the stadium must be well-fenced and clear.

5. VVIP, VIP and Hospitality Areas

Segment the VVIP sections into 2; VVIP 1 and 2.

The metal designs in the front/side of the main grandstands VVIP section to be

replaced with glass or fiber glass to separate the two.

6. Media-related areas

Press Conference Room

 Create dedicated access and entrance for media to the Press conference room, avoiding contact with player and officials;

 Install equipment as per CAF requirements.

 It must be equipped with the following items:

Equipped with a Podium, camera platform, split box, sound system, (WI-FI) Internet Connection and chairs;

It must have at least fifty (50) modern seats for the media representatives;

At the front, ideally the main access door, a platform with desk and seats is

required for coaches, players and CAF Media officer;

Media tribune

Media tribune to be moved to side next to it with a secure and separate entrance from the spectators.

 Create dedicate access and entrance for media to the media tribune, avoiding contact with VVIP and VIP;

 Media tribune to be equipped with modern facilities; Seats, Tables, and Power outlets.

The allocated Media Center and Press Conference room to be renovated and equipped with modern facilities;

Availability of dedicated toilets for the media in the stands;The Media Tribune must be equipped with the following items:

–           Installation of modern seats with desks equipped with new power supply, Internet connection (WI-FI) and new LAN cables;

§ Functionality of the power points needs to be checked;LAN cable functionality to be restored in the media tribune, otherwise high

quality WiFi must be provided; should be accessible directly from the Media Centre, the flash interview position, mixed zone and the press conference room.

Media Facilities

The Media Facilities must have the following additional requirements:

All Media Facilities should be easily accessible and within each other’s proximity

if possible; Media Entrance should be separate from other entrances at the Stadium; a dedicated parking area for media must be available.

7. TV & Broadcasting-related areas

Camera positions

Expand the TV control room

One (1) main camera platform must be provided in the grandstand on west side. It

must be centrally situated, at a height above the pitch which guarantees optimum

picture quality

The placement of the main camera should be done correctly ke

eping to the half

line and height.

TV and radio commentary positions

Install equipment

The sections for the commentators should be prepared according to the technology


8. Training Facilities

-A separate training facility must be available.

– The training site must have the following minimum requirements:

– Floodlights with a minimum capacity of 500 LUX; At least one (1) dressing room equipped with 23 seats and lockers; A bench area equipped with 20 seats for reserve players and team officials; Two (2) movable goals;

A minimum of five (5) showers, three (3) toilets, five (5) sinks and four (4) urinals;

An ambulance must be available for each training site during the training

sessions of the teams;

-Secured fencing around the training site;

– Secured Entrance(s) and exit(s).

9. Hotels and Hospitals

No requirement indicated

10. Other General Remarks

Stadium under general renovation

-External perimeters and fences to be reviewed

-Ensure that all areas in the stadium meet the CAF Stadium requirements to host A

Matches and are furnished with high quality equipment and materials.

– Ensure all access and stadium surrounding are clear.

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