This Day (Lagos)

19 April 2012

Nigeria: Maigari - Nation Yet to Decide on World Cup Venue

Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President Aminu Maigari, Wednesday said that there was no decision yet on where the Super Eagles will play their forthcoming World Cup and Nations Cup home fixtures.

Two competitive international fixtures are in the pipeline for Nigeria in June, when they will meet Namibia and Rwanda.

The Eagles will host Namibia on June 2 in the first leg of the qualifying campaign for Brazil 2014, while Rwanda will visit on June 15 for the reverse fixture of the Africa Cup of Nations preliminary for South Africa 2013.

Federation officials have been mulling on which stadium should be named the Eagles home venue, arising from the not too good state of the National Stadium, Abuja and disturbing security challenges across the whole stretch of northern Nigeria due to the activities of Boko Haram.

While the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna has been a common decimal in the media as a likely home venue for the Eagles, Maigari was quick to make a retraction as he said Wednesday that the federation was still studying the situation before pronouncing a home venue.

Nigeria defeated Zambia 2-0 in Kaduna in November last year in a friendly match, three months before the Chipolopolo upset Cote d'Ivoire to win the Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.

As the federation is still intensifying the search for a home venue two months to the crucial matches, officials have given hints they were considering the facilities in Ibadan, Calabar, Lagos, Port Harcourt and Ijebu Ode and would make a decision at the appropriate time.

"We are still studying the situation and as at now, there is no firm decision regarding where we will be playing in June. The federation will at the right time make a decision in the interest of the nation. We have to use football to bring peace to the country and hope to have stability in the land," Maigari said.

Nigeria came to this situation after vandals disrupted electricity supply to the National Stadium when they stole cables connecting the stadium to the national grid.

The singular act of sabotage hampered water supply to the stadium as grounds men could no longer water and maintain the pitch to playable conditions.

The stadium management said the sum of N75m was required to fix the facilities and put the stadium to use.

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