first_imgNo one is happier than Major Desmon Brown that the National Stadium is set to undergo a major repair next year. Brown, who is the general manager of Independence Park Limited, which manages the venue, said the facility has been operating below international standards for the past five years and that it was on the brink of not being able to host international events such as World Cup Qualifiers and athletics meets. “For international events, a dedicated drug-testing area is required and right now what we have to do is use one of the changing rooms, which is not the best thing,” Brown said. “We also need proper changing rooms with ice-baths, physiotherapy rooms and we don’t have that. One of the recent requirements from FIFA is that you have to have separate access to the field by players and officials, right now (it’s just the) McDonald Tunnel with officials, VIPs and everybody walk through it.” He continued: “Our medical facilities for patrons are inadequate, especially in the bleachers. We don’t even have enough restrooms in the bleachers. We are supposed to have a venue operating centre where we would have the Police, the fire brigade, the ministry of health and private security. All of those people are supposed to be in one room and that is where you make major decisions in terms of anything happening and we don’t have one of those now.” Brown said the stadium has been allowed to host FIFA matches and IAAF athletics meets out of discretion. “When we patch up a few things, they allow us to host these events because we don’t have anywhere else,” Brown said. He alluded to an incident when the stadium almost received an international bad when Jamaica hosted Panama in a World Cup Qualifier in 2013 after crowd control issues. “We never had a field invasion and that is why we never got punishment, but we can’t continue like that,” Brown said. The renovated stadium capacity will increase to 38,000 as the velodrome (cycle track) will be removed. “The fact that we are taking out the obsolete velodrome means that we are going to have space for more seats and this will bring people closer to the action,” Brown explained. Brown said the renovation of the stadium will be done over a three year period to facilitate the hosting of events. Minister of Sports, Olivia Grange is expecting the renovation to begin next year as the Government is in the final stage of signing off on the project. “We have gone through the PIU (Public Investment Unit) and we are in the process of hiring a consultant who will assist with the technical aspects of the project as well as developing a business plan,” Grange said. “We are speaking to the Ministry of Finance in terms of the funding and it will be done in stages.” Facilities inadequatelast_img read more

read more

first_img0Shares0000Philippe Coutinho has pledged his future to Liverpool.PHOTO/Sky SportsLONDON, United Kingdom, Jan 25 – Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho has committed his future to Liverpool by signing a new “long-term” contract, the Premier League giants announced on Wednesday.Liverpool did not reveal details of the deal, but reports suggest Coutinho has signed a five-year contract worth between Sh19.6mn (£150,000)  and Sh26.1mn (£200,000) per week. Coutinho, 24, joined Liverpool from Inter Milan in a Sh1.1bn (£8.5 million) move in January 2013 and has since become the team’s attacking fulcrum, scoring 34 goals in 163 appearances.“Ever since my arrival here, I was welcomed with open arms by the supporters and everyone at this football club,” Coutinho said in comments published on the Liverpool website.“This is an important factor that carries weight when you decide to remain here for a longer period and this did have a lot of weight when I thought about the renewal of my contract.“I can only thank every supporter for their faith in me. I really hope to repay them. I will do my very best on the pitch to create assists for my team-mates and score goals for us to try and win trophies and titles.”An artful attacking midfielder and set-piece specialist with an eye for the spectacular, Coutinho has been capped 23 times by Brazil, scoring six goals.He has been in sparkling form this season, scoring six goals in 18 games, and was badly missed by Liverpool after sustaining an ankle ligament injury in November that kept him out for seven weeks.Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said Coutinho’s new contract, which is not thought to include a release clause, represented a “big statement”.“He is truly world-class — in that very top bracket,” Klopp said.“The fact he wants to stay here and be part of what we are looking to build and develop shows his personal commitment is to make himself better and be an integral part of something that is very special.“We have total belief in our project, but when a player of Phil’s calibre and status commits for this length of time it shows that our faith is shared throughout the game.“He knows he can fulfil his dreams and ambitions here at Liverpool. This is a big statement. I look forward to seeing Phil create many more great memories and moments for this club.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

read more