BY JACOB AJOM
Former chairman of the Nigeria Football Federation, Kojo Williams has lambasted the management of the National Stadium Lagos for allowing the once revered sporting arena go into its present state of disrepair.
Kojo who was reacting to the news on the denial of entry to the stadium of former Nigeria Coach Clemens Westerhof and a TV crew by the stadium management because of the sorry state of the place said, “it’s absolute rubbish.
They would not let him in because they cannot defend the level of decay the stadium has been led into. It is a shame that a man who achieved so much for this country in that stadium could be denied access to the place.
A man who came all the way from Holland to boast about Nigeria, a place he made all the headlines for the right reasons should have been a good publicity for the nation.”
When told that the stadium management insisted on getting an official permission from higher authorities, Kojo countered, “It’s absolute rubbish. Is that not the stadium that people walk in and out everyday? What permission do they get to go in there?
“I believe it is because of the dirty and generally poor state of the arena that is why they would not allow him in. But they are doing a great disservice to themselves because take the Abuja stadium, for instance, it was when the media reported the bad state of the pitch that government quickly went in and today, it is the better for it.”
The former NFF boss said the poor state of the stadium is a reflection of the state of the nation. “It should be a national pride and should be in top shape every time. But it also shows how we put square pegs in round holes. The wrong people are always put in sensitive areas they know nothing about..”
Sports Vanguard gathered that the former Nigeria coach actually applied for permit through his Nigerian contact but the approval was not secured before the coach went to the National Stadium. A source told our correspondent, “all the talk about approval or no approval was a ploy to keep the arena out of public glare,” asking “What will they say when they get back to their country?”