NFF moves to ensure stadium standard for continentals

All the venues being proposed for home matches by clubs representing Nigeria in African competitions this year will be inspected by officials of the Nigeria Football Federation to ensure they meet acceptable standard, reports Sportstalkafrica.com

According to a release by the NFF Communications Department on Wednesday afternoon, the move is part of the agreement reached at the end of a meeting of NFF officials and officials of the four Clubs (Rangers International, Rivers United, FC IfeanyiUbah and Wikki Tourists) at the NFF Secretariat, Abuja on Wednesday.

Deliberations centred on match venues, stadium readiness, team preparation, team travel and accommodation, logistics, match officials travel and accommodation, communication with NFF and officials of the opposition team, safety, security and medical provisions.

NFF’s Director of Competitions, Mr. Bola Oyeyode briefed officials of the four Clubs on requirements of the Confederation of African Football, and harped on the importance of being fully prepared in all the noted areas in order not to attract avoidable sanctions and unpleasant experience during their campaigns.

NPFL champions Rangers International will fly the country’s flag in the CAF Champions League alongside second –placed Rivers United, while Federation Cup winners FC IfeanyiUbah and League third place –finishers Wikki Tourists will campaign in the CAF Confederation Cup.

The Flying Antelopes propose to make use of the 25,000 –capacity Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium (The Cathedral) for their home matches, with Rivers United opting for the Yakubu Gowon Stadium (16,000 capacity) in Port Harcourt and Wikki Tourists decided on the 18,000 –capacity Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium, Bauchi.

FC IfeanyiUbah, nicknamed Anambra Warriors and the only privately –owned Club among the four, will host home matches at the 17,000 –capacity Ifeanyi Ubah International Stadium, Nnewi.

Oyeyode noted that none of the four stadia had been previously homologated by the Confederation of African Football, hence the need for NFF to inspect the venues well ahead of the African competitions.

The Commissioner for Youth and Sports in Bauchi State, Hon. Ibrahim Madaki Sale led the Wikki Tourists delegation, which also included Director of Sports Lawal Garba, Bauchi FA chairman Yahuza Adamu Ningi, Chairman of Wikki FC Isa Musa Matori and FA secretary Ibrahim Garba. Enugu FA chairman Chidi Ofo Okenwa led the Rangers’ delegation that also had Rangers Ag. Chairman Steve Oruruo and Amobi Ezeaku.

Vice chairman of Anambra FA, Barr. J. B. C. Obikwelu and FC IfeanyiUbah team manager Igwe Jonathan stood in for the Anambra Warriors, while Rivers State FA secretary Ibigoni Benjamin-Akobo represented Rivers United.

The first leg, first round of this year’s African club competitions will take place on the weekend of 9th – 11th February.


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Fred Edoreh - Publisher

Born July 13, 1965, Fred Edoreh hails from Umeh, Isoko South, Delta State. He attended St. John Primary School, Iselegu, Mater Dei Collage Ashaka, St. Patrick’s Grammar School, Asaba for HSC and graduated in English and Literary Studies at Bendel State University, Ekpoma.
He went into journalism in 1990 with Newbreed Magazine and later crossed over to television production with Ultimate Sports and Soccerworld on the Nigeria Televsion Authority.
He subsequently moved to pioneer Internet publishing in Nigeria with Nigeriasports.com and was later employed at Silverbird Television from where he moved as Editor of Weekend Sports at Naational Mirror Newspapers.
He currently publishes the online sports website www.sportstalkafrica.com besides and also runs a sports marketing outfit, Westcoast Works and Projects, managing and marketing live radio broadcast of the Nigeria Professional Football League.

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