Goldfields Dabbling in Dirty Politics As Company Delays T&A Stadium
-Say Football Fans As Company Delays T&A Stadium, Weeks After Terminating Medeama Deal
Mining giant, Goldfields Ghana Limited, has come under heavy criticism from football fans in the Western Region, particularly indigenes of Tarkwa-Nsuaem and its environs, over what they claim to be a deliberate attempt by the company to dabble in a dirty politics, ostensibly to sabotage their darling team.
They allege that the mining firm, for sometime now, has deployed some tactics to deliberately delay an early completion of its US$16.2million Tarkwa and Abosso (T&A) Sports Stadium to allow Ghana Premier League champions, Medeama Sporting Club, to use the facility as venue for their CAF Champions League home games.
According to the residents, even though the necessary works have been completed and contractors have whispered to them that all is set, except some few finishing touches being put up, to hand over the facility, recent events showed Goldfields Ghana is not willing to allow the project to be commissioned anytime soon.
Insiders told The Anchor, the company suddenly began dragging its feet on the project, after the Member of Parliament (MP) for the area, George Mireku Duker, at a recent press briefing with the management of Medeama SC, announced that the club is hoping to commission the new stadium for their CAF matches.
This development comes at a time Gold Fields Ghana recently terminated its sponsorship arrangement with the team as the club’s headline sponsor, just when the club was doing well and had secured qualification to the group stage of the CAF Champions League.
The traditional leaders are also said to be unhappy with the strange behaviour of the mining company, considering the longstanding cordial relation that existed between them throughout their operations.
The MP, who doubles as the deputy minister of Lands and Natural Resources responsible for Mining, at the press conference, shared that the team has set its sight on inaugurating the new 10,000-seater stadium by the end of this November.
“We will be commissioning our stadium also by November ending, and we are using this platform to invite you to Tarkwa,” he emphasized, adding “By the grace of God, we shall play our first match of the group stage in Tarkwa.”
Many believe the above remark by the MP was the reason the mining firm decided to delay the timely completion of the project, apparently to shove off the legislator, who has been one of the strong pillars of the club financially.
According to this paper’s information, the project, which was started in the first quarter of 2020 by Gold Fields, through the Gold Fields Ghana Foundation, is originally expected to be completed by December 2022. However, the pitch can be used for football matches by the first quarter of 2023.
Those familiar with the modus operandi of the South African mining firm alleged that the company has a history of delaying projects they financed.
They cited for example that, prior to the 2008 elections, all projects completed by Goldfields Ghana Limited in the Tarkwa-Nsuaem constituency, which were to be commissioned for the benefit of the people, were all halted and only commissioned after the general elections were over.
This, they claimed, was consciously done with the “intentions of the then government New Patriotic Party (NPP) not to achieve any mileage or leverage from the projects.”
Residents who are saddened by the happenings said they felt disappointed that, after management of Goldfields encouraged the club to do well and it is performing remarkably well, the company now appears to turn their back, instead of rallying behind the team.
“The euphoria and enthusiasm of the good people of Tarkwa-Nsuaem behind Medeama SC is just going to be disappointed? Did Goldfields construct the stadium for themselves or for the use of the community?” one of the residents quizzed.
According to him, “Just as they support Ghana Black Stars’ world cup campaign in 2006, the good people of Tarkwa-Nsuaem are expecting same fulfilment through Medeama’s participation and will not sleep on any sabotage that seeks to undermine the gains by all stakeholders to develop the Municipality through Sports.”
They indicated that, Medeama SC were crowned champions of the 2022/23 Ghana Premier League, simply because of the support the club received from stakeholders, particularly from committed fans, the MP for Tarkwa-Nsuaem and Goldfields Ghana Limited, among others.
Medeama Sporting Club’s success, The Anchor is informed, was partly due to the improved sports infrastructure development in the Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipality, of which the infrastructure campaign-drive is led by the MP, and supported by the government.
Some of these projects include the new Astroturf at Dompim-Pepesa, the Cyanide-Tarkwa Astroturf, Akoon Park and the T&A Stadium also being constructed by Goldfields.
More To come…