MKO National Stadium ready to host international tourneys

By Oviri Kelvin, Sports Editor

The federal government of Nigeria said the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja, is ready to host international matches after undergoing thorough refurbishment.

The Nigerian government said two of the mainbowl turf and two of its training pitches are back to international standards.

According to the Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, the mainbowl tulf had been in an ignominious state after the Public-Private Partnership(PPP) between his ministry and the Dangote
Industries Group.

He said, “The turf of the mainbowl had taken a heavy blow after it was rehabilitated through the Public-Private Partnership(PPP) arrangement of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development and the Dangote
Industries Group late last year.

“The Ministry’s adopted pitch Initiative also ensured that similar rehabilitation works are being carried out on the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos and the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium(formerly called Liberty Stadium) in Ibadan,” the Sports Minister recounted.

Recall that the match between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and the Black Stars of Ghana during the FIFA World Cup qualifiers in MKO National Stadium, Abuja, resorted to Nigeria fans vandalizing the stadium facilities following the failure of the Super Eagles to pick the qualifying ticket to Qatar on March 29, 2022.

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Aside from that, Dare noted that the state of the pitch when the Super Eagles defeated the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone in AFCON qualifiers was in terrible shape which needed swift intervention.

“The Super Eagles beat Sierra Leone 2-1 in the opening game of their 2023 African Cup of Nations qualifiers in Abuja but the state of the pitch left so much to be desired,” the Sports Minister reacted.

“A visit to the stadium over the weekend reveals the attention to detail by groundsmen who want to deliver a world-class pitch before the next set of International matches of the Super Eagles in September.

“In addition to the revamping of the playing turf, the stadium now has newly installed FIFA-approved technical and players’ bench, as well as more effective underground water sprinklers,” Dare added.

However, the Sport Minister, in a move to prevent abuse of the facilities in the National Stadium, stated that the stadium is exclusively for the country’s national teams.

Sports Minister Sunday Dare has also reiterated that works at the National Stadium, Surulere and Obafemi Awolowo Stadium will continue to be monitored until their turn around is completed

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