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The 2023 African Games are supposed to take place in a year, from June 4 to 19 in Ghana. This 13th edition, which should bring together 25 disciplines, could partly serve as qualifications for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games. Provided that its various organizers quickly settle their differences.
In a year, the 13th African Games will open, the first to be held in Accra. For this 2023 edition, scheduled for August 4 to 19 (dates announced), nearly 5,000 athletes are expected in the Ghanaian capital. They will be housed at the University of Ghana, Legon campus. But the real epicenter of these Africa Olympics will be Borteyman, a neighborhood located about twenty kilometers west of Accra.
A sports complex, which will then be converted into university for sport and development is under construction there. In particular, it should contain an aquatic center with a large Olympic pool and 1,000 seats, a multi-purpose sports hall with 1,000 seats for disciplines such as basketball or boxing, and another (temporary) with 500 seats for sports. collectives and the martial arts. Tennis courts and training grounds (athletics, football) are also planned.
Some uncertainties about infrastructures and disciplines
On the other hand, the large 50,000-seat stadium envisaged in Borteyman should not see the light of day, or in any case not for the 2023 African Games. Its realization has taken too long, due in particular to the Covid-19 pandemic. And it will therefore be necessary to rely on the Legon Stadium, an enclosure currently under renovation and whose capacity should be around 11,000 seats. ” For some facilities like the big stadium, it’s going to be quite complicated to complete them on time. », confirms Mustapha Berraf, the president of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (Acnoa).
Acnoa, which is supposed to be in charge of the organizational, management and marketing aspects of these Games, also wants sports such as arm wrestling to no longer appear on its programme. ” We have expressed some small reservations on the sports disciplines, to introduce others of an Olympic nature such as wrestlingexplains the Algerian Mustapha Berraf. They would replace some sports which may be popular in Ghana but are not recognized as Olympic  “.
Because these African Games, whose budget exceeds 200 million US dollars, are intended to be an essential passage towards the next Summer Olympics. ” They will serve as official qualification for the XXXIII Olympic Games Paris 2024 », thus assure the Ghanaians.
Conflicts between organizers
But nothing is less certain 365 days from this pan-African event. Like other editions in the past, these 2023 African Games find themselves caught in a conflict between the African Union (AU), owner of the event, and other actors. This time, it is especially with the Union of African Sports Confederations (UCSA) that the AU is at odds. The UCSA, which must manage the sporting and technical aspect of the competitions, for example missed preparatory meetings. She believes that her prerogatives are not respected. ” The situation is still under tensionJudge Berraf. But we are doing everything to resolve this conflicting and unfortunate situation. “. He adds : ” The International Olympic Committee is monitoring the situation very closely. »
Because time is running out: the international federations whose sport is on the Paris 2024 program are in the process of defining how the athletes will qualify for the next Summer Olympics. If disagreements persist between the organizers of these 13th Games, they will not be included in the qualifying events for the next Olympiad. They will then lose their sporting appeal, especially with the stars of the continent. This is what happened, for example, at the African Games in Brazzaville in 2015. Despite colossal investments from the Congo, many stars had thus skipped these fiftieth anniversary Games, which were nevertheless organized less than a year from the Rio Olympics.
For the 2019 African Games in Rabat, a compromise was found between the AU, UCSA and Acnoa. A few events had thus served as a springboard to the Tokyo Olympics. Are we witnessing a step backwards with Accra?
 Arm wrestling, chess or cricket are not on the program of the Olympics or the World Games.
AFRICAN GAMES 2023: THE DISCIPLINES EXPECTED IN ACCRA
Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Beach Volleyball, Boxing, Arm Wrestling, Cricket, Cycling, Chess, Fencing, Football, Golf, Gymnastics, Weightlifting, Handball, Field Hockey, Swimming, Judo, Karate, Para-Athletics, Para -Weightlifting, Rugby, Squash, Taekwondo, Tennis, Table Tennis, Triathlon, Volleyball, Teqball.
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