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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

OPINION: Abuja National Stadium Pitch Not Good For Football - Keshi


National Stadium before renovation
The Sports Ministry said it re-grassed the pitch for N96 million.
The Super Eagles Head Coach Stephen Keshi has said that the refurbished pitch of the National Stadium in Abuja was not good for football.
Keshi said this on Tuesday evening when he spoke to newsmen after 18 Super Eagles players had their first training session on the refurbished pitch ahead of the crucial World Cup final round qualifier against Ethiopia.
He expressed displeasure with the state of the pitch, saying that it would be dangerous for the Eagles to play on it.
“From what I saw, it is a sandy pitch and it is hard; it will be very difficult for the players to play on it, especially the goalkeepers because it is sharp sand.
“If it rains, I think, the pitch will be water-logged,’’ Keshi said.
Criticism has trailed the renovation of the pitch since September 17 when the contractor, Julius Berger, handed over the stadium to the government.
During their oversight visit to the stadium, members of the House of Representatives Committee on Sports had expressed dissatisfaction with the renovated pitch.
Godfrey Gaiya, who led members of the committee on the visit on September 25, described the N96.6 million spent for re-grassing of the pitch as “doubtful’’.
He expressed disappointment with the level of work carried out by Julius Berger, saying there was not enough drainage to drain the water from the pitch after the rain.
Mr. Gaiya had also described as “uncalled for’’, the ceremony which followed the renovation, noting that it was not a norm in the country to celebrate renovation of projects.
Source: NAN