Senegal: Macky Sall offers a stadium of international standards to African champions

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The President of the Republic of Senegal Macky sall, proceeded to the inauguration of the newly built stadium in the city of Diamniado about thirty kilometers from Dakar.

This Tuesday, February 22, 2022, the whole world and the sports community in particular had their eyes riveted on Senegal. Indeed, the inauguration of the brand new Senegalese stadium called Abdoulaye Wade was held in Diamniado. With a capacity of 50,000 seats, this stadium has been approved by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). It is also, to date, the only stadium with international standards in the country. An excellent gift to the Senegalese football team which has just won its very first African Cup of Nations in Cameroon.

The inauguration ceremony took place in the presence of several political and sports personalities. Among these we can cite Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Rwandan President Paul Kagame, Gambia President Moussa Barrow, Guinea Bissau President Umaro Embalo, Liberian President and former footballer, Georges Weah. But also, the president of Fifa, Gianni Infantino, the boss of Caf Patrice Motsepe and the former coach of the English club Arsenal, Arsène Wenger. The inauguration ceremony preceded a gala match marking the opening of the stadium. The former glories of Senegalese football such as El Hadj Diouf, Khalilou Fadiga and the current coach of Senegal Aliou Cissé, faced the former glories of African football such as Cameroonian Samuel Eto’o, Ivorian Didier Drogba, Nigerian Jay Jay Okocha, the Ghanaian Michael Essien or the Togolese Emmanuel Adebayor. This meeting ended with the score of a goal everywhere. With goals from Fadiga and Okocha.

Initially called the Senegal stadium, President Macky Sall decided to rename this stadium by giving it the name of his predecessor Abdoulaye Wade. A magnificent recognition to the former Senegalese head of state. Macky Sall will also justify this choice in these terms: “it is a tribute to his multidimensional, intellectual, pan-Africanist, politician and former president of Senegal career. He then declares that: “this beautiful infrastructure dedicated to young people is an invitation to continue our path towards excellence”. The country has embarked on a process of renovating its sports infrastructure with a view to the Youth Olympic Games to be held in Senegal in 2026.

The second largest sports arena in Senegal behind the Léopold Sédar Senghor stadium (60,000 seats), this stadium was built in a year and a half by a Turkish company. The total cost of the infrastructure is estimated at 156 billion CFA francs. It is the only stadium in the country that can host an international match. As a result, it will receive its first official match on March 29, 2022. Senegal, which beat Egypt in the CAN 2021 final on February 6, will receive the Pharaohs in the return match counting for the play-offs of the 2022 World Cup to be held in Qatar. The Egyptians who will be keen to take their revenge, will come up against the Lions of Teranga who will want to win their first match in their new arena.

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