By Victor Okoye
Abuja, Nov. 17, 2020 The League Management Company (LMC) on Tuesday said it was satisfied with Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) clubs in their efforts to upgrade their home grounds before the 2020/2021 season.
Harry Iwuala, LMC’s Head of Special Projects, said in a statement that those efforts were in compliance with the league body’s directives.
The directives were in line with the infrastructure requirements in the licensing regulations of both the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
He said the Chairman of LMC, Shehu Dikko, has scrutinised the scorecard after a review of works at the affected match venues.
“Dikko noted that some of the clubs that are likely not to complete the upgrade of their stadiums had already indicated alternative venues for their home fixtures for the season,” Iwuala said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that LMC had on Oct. 30 released a list of 13 approved stadiums for the 2020/2021 season.
Eleven others were recommended for specific upgrade/renovation.
“The LMC is excited to report that several of the stadia that were denied approval are already undergoing the necessary renovation/upgrade.
“In some cases, some of the affected clubs have confirmed alternative venues chosen from the already approved grounds pending the conclusion of works on their home ground,” Dikko was quoted as saying.
Iwuala said a report by LMC showed that the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium in Enugu, home to Rangers International, was currently undergoing pitch renovation/upgrade and other infrastructure.
He said arrangement have been concluded to install a new pitch by the first quarter of 2021.
Iwuala said the report also noted that the Ifeanyi Ubah Stadium in Nnewi was also undergoing repair works to fix the natural grass pitch and other infrastructure.
He said work has also began at the New Jos City Stadium, Plateau United’s homeground, to fix the dressing rooms, stadium chairs, installation of electronic scoreboard and clearing of construction debris.
“The LMC has also directed that the Umuahia Stadium be completely redesigned and reconstructed.
”While the Abia Warriors FC management contemplates how to get this done, the club has sought and secured LMC’s approval to play their home games at the Enyimba Stadium in Aba.
“Jigawa Stars of Dutse have confirmed Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna as their home ground for the 2020/2021 season until work on their stadium is completed.
“Warri Wolves have also proposed to relocate to Ozoro Stadium, subject to LMC’s approval until the Warri Stadium is renovated,” he said.
Iwuala also quoted Dikko as saying that evaluation of work progress at all affected grounds would be an ongoing affair to determine their suitability before the commencement of the season.
Naija247news reports that the 2020/2021 NPFL season is expected to kick off on Dec. 6 and end on July 4, 2021.