Nigeria shop for new World Cup venue
shop for new World Cup venue
Nigeria are desperately shopping for a new venue for a 2014 World Cup qualifying tie in June following a deadly bomb attack in Kaduna.
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) have all but agreed to stage a World Cup qualifier at home against Namibia on June 3 in the northern city of Kaduna.
Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi has met and agreed for the Kaduna State government to stage the match.
However, that was before a deadly bomb attack by a terrorist organisation Boko Haram which left as many as 40 people dead in Kaduna recently.
Top officials have since insisted on the choice of Kaduna for the match, but there may now be a rethink as a top official of the NFF told MTNFootball.com Monday: “We are reaching out to several other state governments as regards the Namibia match after what happened in Kaduna.
“We hope to soon be in a position to announce a venue for the Namibia game.”
The NFF are insisting the game be played on a natural grass pitch after the Eagles complained about artificial pitches as they play on grass pitches at the clubs overseas.
With the poor maintenance culture in the country there are only a handful of standard grass pitches in Nigeria now.
The grass pitch at the Abuja National Stadium is in total disrepair and would require a fortune to fix, while the Dan Anyiam Stadium in Owerri, Imo State, was only recently refurbished for home for Nigeria Premier League club Heartland to host a CAF Confederation Cup game against Unisport Haut-Nkam of Cameroon.
The other major grass pitch is that of the Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna, which is about 180 kilometres from the capital city of Abuja.
Besides the Namibia game, Nigeria will also host the return leg 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Rwanda two weeks later.
The first leg ended goalless in Kigali.
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