Super Eagles head coach Stephen Keshi has described the state of the newly re-grassed main bowl pitch of the Abuja National Stadium as an eyesore.
Keshi made his opinion on the refurbished pitch known at the end of the first training session for the 18 Super Eagles players available as at Tuesday evening ahead of the decisive World Cup playoff trip to Ethiopia.
He expressed displeasure over the standard of the pitch, which was quoted to have cost N96.6m, pointing out that it would be dangerous for the Eagles to play on.
“From what I saw, it is a sandy pitch and it is so hard,” Keshi opined. “It is very difficult for the players to play on, mostly the goalkeepers because it is sharp sand that was used on it.
“It is going to be very difficult to play on and it is not good for football players.
At the re-opening party last month, the heavy downpour at the venue made obvious the weakness in the drainage system around the field as the refurbished pitch was water logged for a long period of time.
After the training session, Keshi added: “If it rains, I think, the pitch will be water-logged; I am not sure this is the right approach.”
The House of Representatives Committee on Sports, led by Honourable Godfrey Gaya, had during their oversight function at the stadium expressed dissatisfaction with the quality of work done by the contractors as well.
Gaya described the money invested in the re-grassing project as wasteful, adding that the contracting company, Julius Berger PLC, didn’t provide drainage system to drain the water after rain.