By Luminous Jannamike – Abuja
THE Federal Government has urged the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, to initiate the process of getting the refurbished MKO Abiola National Stadium certified by FIFA as well as the Confederation of African Football, CAF.
Last Friday, the newly rehabilitated pitch of the stadium and two new digital scoreboards were handed over to the Sports Ministry by Aron Nigeria Limited, the contractors on the project, on behalf of the Dangote Industries Group.
The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, has reiterated his eagerness to get the MKO Abiola stadium to host international football matches.
According to top sources, Dare has also directed the Ministry to work with the NFF to facilitate the installation of the Video Assistant Refereeing (VAR) technology.
“The Minister has instructed the Department of Facilities in the Ministry to work with the NFF to get the MKO Abiola stadium certified by CAF, or even FIFA, if need be.
“He wants the VAR technology installed there as well. So we expect the NFF to write CAF, get a checklist of what needs to be done before an inspection is carried out and to begin these processes without delay,” the Ministry source revealed.
On the state of other facilities in the stadium, the source told our correspondent, “I can also confirm to you that work has commenced on the training pitches while the other necessary facilities like the dressing rooms, media centre, referees’ rooms, medical rooms, rest rooms and VIP Lounges are at full functionality already.”
Barely two months ago, the President of the World Soccer Governing Body, FIFA, Gianni Infantino and his Vice President, who doubles as CAF President, Dr Patrice Motsepe visited the MKO Abiola National Stadium, Abuja.
They were impressed with the state of the pitch as well as the entire edifice, promising to get it to host some international matches when ready.