Ahead the 2020/21 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season, and as part of the broader club licensing regime, 13 stadiums across the country have been certified by the League Management Company (LMC) to have met minimum requirements to host games. Another 11 were recommended for varying degrees of upgrade and repair works before they can be certified.
This was communicated to the clubs in a memo which the LMC sent out on Friday, October 30.
The memo read in part, “in line with the CAF Circular of July 26, 2020 on stadium infrastructure among others, which was forwarded to you and the need to meet up with the requirements of high quality television production by our new partners, the LMC has reviewed various reports submitted on the state of our stadia across the country”.
It explained that the inspected stadiums have been categorised into two- A and B with Category A representing those that have been approved to host NPFL matches for the season having met the minimum requirements while Category B includes those requiring upgrades. “We have made notes on the areas/repairs needed to be done before recertification”, the memo stated.
The 13 approved grounds include Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos, Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo, Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin, Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba and Okigwe Township Stadium.
Others that met the requirements are Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium, Bauchi, Gombe Township Stadium, Pantami, Aper Aku Stadium, Makurdi, Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna, Enyimba International Stadium, Aba, Muhammad Dikko Stadium, Katsina and Ilorin Township Stadium.
Listed for upgrade and repair works are 11 stadiums but with Umuahia Township Stadium and Dutse Township Stadium recommended for complete remodeling and reconstruction.
The rest were listed as requiring repairs varying from relaying of new synthetic grass, regressing, provision of floodlights, television camera platforms and upgrade of changing rooms as well as provision of additional exit and entry gates among others basic requirements.
They are Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano, Agege Stadium, Akure Township Stadium, Warri Township Stadium, New Jos Township Stadium and Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu.
The rest are Lafia Township Stadium, IfeanyiUbah Stadium, Nnewi and Fufure Stadium, Yola which will be inspected for certification after construction work has been completed.
Clubs whose preferred grounds have been recommended for upgrade would have to choose from any of the certified grounds should they be unable to complete the upgrade before the start of the season.