21 August 2018

Nigeria: NFF Considers Asaba Stadium for Super Eagles Versus Libya Qualifier

Photo: The Guardian
Stephen Keshi Stadium.

The newly opened Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba may host Nigeria's African Nations Cup qualifier against Libya in October. That is if the Nigeria Football Federation's (NFF) technical committee certified it fit to host the clash.

The Super Eagles will meet Seychelles in their next match in the qualifying series on September 8 before coming back home to play Libya on October 13. The Eagles will jet out to the North African country immediately after the Asaba battle for the return clash in Tripoli on October 16.

Nigeria lost their opening game of the campaign 0-2 to South Africa in Uyo and needs to beat Seychelles and Libya to rekindle their hope of making the list of the 24 billed to play in next year's Nations Cup in Cameroun.

A source from the NFF told journalists in Lagos at the weekend that the federation was considering playing the game at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, which has a 22,000-seat capacity. He added, however, that there are objections to the choice by some members of the board, who pointed at the issues that cropped up during the recent African Senior Athletics Championships.

"The NFF top men will still meet with Coach Gernot Rohr to consider the proposal on the stadium, which is said to have one of the best grass pitches in Nigeria."Some of the members are wary of anything unsavoury happening during the game to jeopardise Nigeria's bid to qualify for the Nations Cup. "There are also fears about the security of the stadium considering that fans from the East and the South West are likely to troop en masse to the stadium, which can only hold 22,000 people.

"However, the NFF board will soon inspect the stadium and meet with the Delta State government to see how any concern would be addressed before the game."He also revealed that the U.J. Esuene Stadium, Calabar is an alternative venue, adding, "but that is only if the Asaba Stadium is found not suitable to host the game.Group E leaders, South Africa has already chosen Durban's Moses Mabhida Stadium as venue for their clash with Libya on September 8. They will start preparations for the match on Sunday, September 2 in Johannesburg before flying off to Durban the next day.


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