Following their maiden Africa Cup of Nations triumph, Senegal has officially unveiled the new stadium that accommodates 50,000 people.
The venue that’s named after Abdoulaye Wade, Senegal former president, is said to be the only one in the country to be certified for international football after their biggest stadium Lat Dior lost its certification from the Confederation of African Football (CAF) in May last 2021.
Macky Sall, the current president, led the inauguration ceremony that was attended by FIFA president Gianni Infantino and CAF president Patrice Motsepe on Tuesday night, 22 February.
Sall said during an inauguration ceremony that the naming of the stadium was a “tribute to the multidimensional, intellectual, pan-Africanist politician”.
“This beautiful infrastructure dedicated to young people is an invitation to continue our path towards excellence,” Sall said.
The new stadium cost $270 million and was built in a space of 18 months by Turkey’s Summa construction company.
The stadium was built in Diamniadio, a town being constructed about 30 kilometres (20 miles) from the country’s capital Dakar.
The first match to be held in this stadium will see Senegal locking horns with Egypt in a crucial 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier on 29 March.
Senegal has launched a programme to refurbish its stadiums before Dakar hosts the Summer Youth Olympics in 2026.
The country’s biggest sporting venue is the 60,000-capacity Leopold Sedar Senghor Stadium built in Dakar in 1985.