16 January 2013

Nigeria: 'Abuja National Stadium Will Be Ready May'

The Abuja National Stadium will be ready for use for the Super Eagles' 2014 World Cup qualifying matches in June.

Julius Ogunro, the Special Assistant to Malam Bolaji Abdullahi, the Sports Minister and Chairman of the National Sports Commission (NSC), disclosed this in an interview in Abuja yesterday.

Ogunro said the ongoing rehabilitation work on the football pitch by Julius Berger Nigeria plc was expected to be completed and handed over to government by the end of May.

The Super Eagles' will next play the Harambee Stars of Kenya in the existing round of qualifiers on March 22 before the return-leg match on June 7 in Nairobi.

The Eagles will also play another away game against the Brave Warriors of Namibia on June 14.

Nigeria is leading Group F with four points after two matches, while Namibia is second on three.

Malawi is third in the Group with two points, while Kenya is last in the group with one point.

Ogunro, however, explained that the stadium would be ready for the Super Eagles return-leg World Cup qualifying encounter against the Flames of Malawi on Sept. 6, all things being equal.

"You can see that work is going on smoothly and hopefully it will be ready for use in late May or early June.

"The planting of the grass will be done in February and it will take additional three months to be nurtured to standard," Ogunro said.

The minister told NAN in December that rehabilitation of the stadium would begin in the New Year, adding that the rehabilitation followed President Jonathan's visit to the stadium in September.

He said relocation of the office of the sports minister to the stadium complex also necessitated the renovation.


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