WORLD Soccer-governing body, FIFA, paid an unscheduled visit to Nigeria during the week and caught members of the Local Organising Committee for the cadet championship napping. Unlike in the past when they announced their coming, they came like a â€˜thief in the nightâ€™ and visited some of the centres designated to host the championship.
Sports Vanguard gathered that they were shocked at the slow pace of work at the centres. And in Lagos, they could not hide their dismay with the National Stadium, Lagos mainbowl which was to be used as a training pitch for the teams that would play at the Teslim Balogun Stadium.
â€œThe training pitches at the NIS was not ready but they urged the LOC to fast-track work on it. At the National Stadium, they could not withstand the decay and they instantly ruled it out as a training pitchâ€, our source said.
We learnt that one of the FIFA men asked if this was not the first national stadium before Abuja was built. He also asked if it was not the same stadium that hosted matches of the World Youth Championship, Nigeria â€˜99.
The sportscity, as it was then calledÂ by late sweet-talking Ernest Okonkwo is now a den of Area of Boys.