AFCON 2019: nest of champions to be closed

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Following the visit of the Nigeria Football Federation inspection team led by Chairman of NFF Technical and Development Committee, Barrister Chris Green to the home ground of the Super Eagles ‘nest of champions’ otherwise known as Goodswill Akpabio stadium, the NFF has ordered the stadium to be closed for proper renovation of the turf in readiness for the AFCON​ 2019 clash between Nigeria’s Super Eagles and Bafana Bafana of South Africa slated for June 11, 2017.

The inspection team expressed satisfaction about the stadium but directed that the stadium be closed for the main time.

The Godswill Akpabio International stadium pitch is in a sorry state

According to green: “We are delighted with the state of the playing turf and other facilities at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, I can tell you that the pitch is just as it was when the Super Eagles played Algeria in the World Cup qualifier in November last year and in order to maintain the lush green state of the pitch, no activity be carried out on it until ongoing work is completed and the 2019 Cup of Nations qualifier between the Eagles and the Bafana Bafana is played,” he said.

Inspection team led by Barr. Chris Green

Also present during the inspection were Sir Monday Ebong Uko (State Commissioner for Youth and Sports), Hon. Akan Okon (State Commissioner for Special Duties), Mr. Aniedi Dickson (Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Sports), Mr. Emmanuel Iba (Chairman of Akwa Ibom State Football Association), Mr. Paul Bassey (Chairman of Akwa United Football Club/SSA to Governor on Sports), Mr. Victor Owokwure (the Stadium Manager), representatives of Akwa Ibom State Sports Council and representatives of Julius Berger construction company.

With this latest order made by the NFF, it is yet unclear where the state owned Akwa United Football Club will play its home matches in the Nigeria Professional Football League.

The Promise Keepers are billed to host current NPFL league leaders, MFM FC next week Wednesday in a match day 19 fixture.

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