Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo or The Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium is a multi-purpose sporting Arena located in Yaoundé constructed for the 1972 Africa Cup of Nations.
Cameroon’s national football stadium was constructed at the start of the 1970s in order to host matches of the 1972 Africa Cup of Nations tournament. One of just two stadiums involved in the competition, Stade Omnisports as it was first known had a capacity of 38,720 whilst Stade de la Réunification could hold 30,000.
Hosting six matches of Group A, one semi-final, and the final itself, Cameroon achieved a respectable third place finish after defeating Zaire 5-2 in the play-off final. The final was contested on 5th March 1972 between Congo and Mali with the Congolese boys triumphing 3-2 to earn their first title.
Constructed as a multi-purpose sports venue, Stade Ahidjo features an athletics track around the perimeter of the pitch although it isn’t used too often. The stadium is home to both Canon Yaoundé and Tonnerre Yaoundé and thus is generally used more for football matches.
The stadium’s capacity today remains at a fixed 38,720 after undergoing renovation work in 2005, however it can be expanded to 52,000 via the use of standing areas for important matches such as World Cup qualifiers.
Currently named after Ahmadou Ahidjo who was the first President of Cameroon, it is unknown as to when the stadium’s name was changed in his honour. He served as President between 1960 to 1982 so it could have been after he retired or after he passed away in 1989.