The poor quality of the pitch at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna has been cited as the reason for the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) dropping the venue for next month’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Libya.
This is a major backtrack from the NFF, who had previously written to the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to have the qualifier against Libya moved to Saturday, October 13 instead of the previous day, as they feared overcrowding and logistical problems in Kaduna on a Friday evening.
CAF refused the request and it seems Nigeria will be moving the game to Uyo, which hosted the Super Eagles’ 2018 World Cup qualifiers last year.
Nigeria’s Football Live quotes an unnamed source which claims that the stadium in Kaduna failed to meet the basic requirements.
“The Ahmadu Bello Stadium is in need of repairs and the state of the pitch, which was near perfect when Gernot Rohr visited last month, has deteriorated to a level not fit enough for a game of such magnitude,” said the source.
“So, the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State has been forwarded to both CAF and Libyan FA as the new venue of the match on October 12.
“Akwa Ibom State has successfully repaired the pitch, which was damaged during one of the political events of the Akwa Ibom State Governor.”
Nigeria come into the clash placed third on the Group E standings, though they are just one point adrift of co-leaders Libya and South Africa.