CAF Team inspects Nigeria’s Stadia Facilities for AFCON 2025 BidChairman of DSSC, Chief Okowa with the inspectors at the Stephen Keshi Stadium on Sunday.
By Ed Malik, A | |
posted April 4, 2023

Inspectors appointed by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) are checking the stadia and related facilities that Nigeria has availed in the joint bid with the Republic of Benin to host the 35th edition of the Africa Cup of Nations in the year 2025.

The stadiums presented for inspection and critical evaluation are Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja; Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo; Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba; and Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos. Others are Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City and; Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna.

The four-man CAF team comprised of Jean-Louis Romain, Emma Bollet, Didier Levy, and Timour Tawfik, who is being accompanied by some NFF officials as guides ) have already assessed the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in the nation’s capital; Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos; Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba and; the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City.

In the nation’s showpiece arena in Abuja, the team was received on Friday night by the Deputy Director (Facilities) of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports, Mallam Mohammed Rabiu, and the stadium managers. They were taken through several sections of the arena and made some observations about some sections.

On Saturday night, the team stopped over at the Teslim Balogun Stadium which is currently under extensive renovation, and was received by the Executive Chairman of Lagos State Sports Commission, Mr. Sola Aiyepeku alongside the Director General, LSSC, Mr. Toyin Gafaar Bolowotan and; the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Grassroots Development, Mr. Anthony Adeyinka Adeboye.

At the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba on Sunday, the Executive Director of Delta State Sports Commission, Chief Tonobox Okowa (who is also President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria) was joined by the Director General, of DSSC, Chief Chris Anazuih, and the Chairman of the Delta State Football Association, Chief Kenneth Nwaomucha as the team went round the facility.

In Benin City, also on Sunday, the Chairman of the Edo State Sports Commission, Mr. Yusuf Alli was in company with the Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Sabina Chikere; Chairman of the Edo State Football Association, Mr. Abu Rowland, and; the Director of Facilities, Mr. Victor Edokpayi as they inspected several sections of the magnificent facility.

So far, a common point of concern in the stadiums visited, which the inspection team has voiced, is the urgent need to redesign some facilities in a way that different client groups in the football arena, including VIPs, Players, and their officials, Media Representatives and the Fans are specially designated to ensure seamless and distinct entry-and-exit points without interfering with other groups.

The inspectors will also inspect the Stade Charles de Gaulle, Porto Novo in the Benin Republic.

Nigeria had previously hosted the Africa Cup of Nations in 1980 and co-hosted with Ghana 23 years ago. The country has hosted a number of major football and general sporting events such as the All-Africa Games (1973 and 2003), the FIFA U20 World Cup (1999), and the FIFA U17 World Cup (2009).

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