Ibadan – The management of the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium, Ibadan, has expressed its willingness to host the Super Eagles World Cup qualifier match against Namibia.
The management also expressed its willingness to host the return leg of the Africa Nations Cup qualifier against Rwanda.
Steve Olarinoye, the Zonal Coordinator, South-West Zone 1, of the National Sports Commission (NSC), Ibadan, disclosed these to newsmen on Wednesday in Ibadan.
The management’s decision followed the controversy trailing the decision of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) moving the matches away from the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna, due to Boko Haram threat.
Olarinoye said that the former Liberty Stadium “has all it takes to host such international matches”.
“The recently re-grassed pitch is well maintained; the official dressing rooms in good order coupled with the constant electricity supply to the sports complex as an added advantage,’’ he said.
According to him, the South West’s football fans are eager to see their darling national team again claiming that the last time the stadium hosted an international engagement was in 1999.
Speaking in the same vein, the Chairman, Oyo State chapter of Nigeria Football Supporters Club, Alli Femi, promised that his team would do everything possible to mobilise people to the stadium.
“We will ensure large turnout of football fans so that appreciable crowd would be seen watching the Super Eagles in Ibadan,’’ Femi said.
He said his club had explained to the state Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Dapo Lam-Adesina, the need to convince Gov. Abiola Ajimobi to bid to host the matches.
“There are many derivable economic benefits for the dwellers of a city that host big matches,’’ he added.
According to him, kudos should be given to the Ogun State Government which has, over the years, been hosting different national teams matches in its various stadia.
“We also have good stadium here in Oyo State; our Obafemi Awolowo Stadium is more than capable to host any international match.
According to him, NFA should give the teeming football fans in the state and its environs the chance to watch the national team matches in Ibadan. (NAN)