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Olembe’s stadium: new twist, out Magil, Piccini called again

By George Dabò

In the controversial affair concerning the construction of Yaundé’s Stadium Olembe in Cameroon, yet another twist that should bring the Italian Piccini back onto the field.  When we learn from the revelations of the Cameroonian daily newspaper Mutations, the national sports authorities are ready to revoke the mandate of the Canadian construction company Magil, which took over from the Italian construction company Piccini, due to a series of errors and failures that would compromise the delivery of the stadium for the African Cup already postponed until 2022.

As far as we know, the Minister of Sport of Cameroon, Narcisse Mouelle Kombi, is said to be ready to revoke the contracts in Magil after having ascertained the level of delay of the works and the seriousness of some defaults.

An expert report requested by the authorities has established a series of serious discrepancies and delays in the work carried out by Magil. In particular, it was ascertained that both the athletics track and the playing field needed to be redone, as well as a series of installations were found to be uneven or malfunctioning. In short, a series of serious problems triggered the alarm and set in motion the reactions of the Ministry of Sport.

In order to have a more complete picture, we also asked Eng. Rodolphe Moebius from Piccini to comment on the situation and to confirm the facts cited by the Cameroonian newspaper. But the manager of the Italian company refused to make any comments, let alone provide data, explaining that a judicial investigation against Magil is underway before the Canadian courts and that for this reason he cannot make any statement.

This case is very important for Cameroon and goes beyond the boundaries of sport. The delivery of the construction sites on time and in the manner foreseen is in fact a matter of political importance because in the end it concerns not only the African Cup but also the reputation of the country. This is why the Minister of Sport, one of the country’s most prominent politicians, cannot run the risk that this operation will not be completed on time. His own credibility and Cameroon’s future depend on it. This is why the return of Piccini to the present day seems more than likely.