Football |14 September 2023
No matches scheduled for La Digue next season
With football season set to begin soon, the sport’s local governing body has officially announced that no matches have been scheduled to take place on La Digue, with the island’s selections having to play their home games on neighbouring Praslin.
The announcement totally contradicts what was said before the National Assembly in April, whereby it was announced that as from next season, La Digue-based teams will resume playing their home matches at the l’Union football field, following a lease agreement between the Seychelles government through the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Family and the Seychelles Football Federation (SFF)which will renovate the venue, bringing it to the required standard as per the norm of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (Fifa).
It was during question time when Sports Minister Marie-Celine Zialor, along with principal secretary for Sports, Ralph Jean-Louis, and director general strategic human resources within the youth and sports department, Gyra Nibourette, were answering the question of member of the National Assembly (MNA) for La Digue, Rocky Uranie, regarding the government’s renovation plan for the La Digue sports complex.
Until yesterday, the Sports Complex has been untouched, with no maintenance work, whatsoever, having been carried out.
The decision from the Competitions Department, within the SFF, came following several complaints from one club in particular, voicing out that the La Digue Sports Complex, which includes the football field, is not conducive for any match, while it is also becoming more and more difficult to train, especially with the state of the field.
The decision is also based on the condition of the changing room facility which is not functioning, while the dormitory is also not in a state to host any team.
As for the substitute benches, they are damaged, and are not safe for players and team officials.
It was said before the National Assembly that renovation work, precisely on the football field, is expected to be completed in September, in time for the new football season, with most to be done during the off-season period, allowing sufficient time for successful completion.
It was also said that as per the agreement with the SFF, renovation work on the football field will be carried out in two phases, the first phase involving removal of the existing grass layer, or surface, and replace it with a new layer of grass, along with new goal posts, substitute benches and lighting system, while the second phase will include extending the cover over the sitting facilities, along with two new offices.
Whether there was an agreement, or not, at this stage, Sports NATION has not received any confirmation from any party, despite all efforts to find out.
In any case, the Sports Complex, inaugurated on June 21, 1997 by former President France Albert René, is all messed up, and in urgent need of attention and renovation.