Sports Writers Association Of Nigeria (SWAN) Kano state chapter has warned that unless the state government compels contractors handling the renovation works at the Sani Abacha Stadium to speed up, the dream of the state being one of the hosting states for the World Under-17 football championship will be a mirage.
The Chairman of the state chapter, Mr. Mike Oboh said in Kano on Thursday that it is worrisome that nine days to the final visit of the FIFA inspection team, the scoreboard is yet to be installed.
The Associationâ€™s fears, Oboh said, is borne out of the understanding that despite the way the state governor Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau has committed huge sums of money to the execution of the project some aspect of the renovation and rehabilitation works is still at a slow pace.
â€œWhat are we talking of here, they have told us that the scoreboard is a key factor in granting of hosting right to states, the pitch is ready, work is yet to start on the tartan tracks, in our stadium here the scoreboard is yet to be installed and we are made to understand that the experts to install it are still in Korea. We also learnt that it will take them two days to arrive in Nigeria. Unless our state Governor intervenes, as usual, we are in for trouble,â€ Mr. Oboh lamented.
While commending the state government for spending close to N1.5 billion to put in place the necessary facilities for the games, the body charged the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) headed by Alhaji Mohammad Ahemed Muazu Kawu who is also Special Adviser to the Governor on Sports Development and the state Ministry of Information and Sports to live up to the challenge of ensuring that the state is not left out of the hosting right come August when FIFA would make their final visit to decide which of the states qualify to host the competition.
Oboh also said that Kano state stands to benefit from the event and anything short of the state getting the hosting right would be seen as sabotage.