Dan Anyiam Stadium Among 9 Stadia Barred from Hosting League Matches

Heartland FC and newly bought-over FC IfeanyiUbah are among nine Glo Premier League sides who have been told to relocate their home matches to temporary venues pending renovation of their grounds.

This is in light of reports tendered by various stadium assessment teams, which has certified 11 out of the 20 Glo Premier League grounds worthy of league matches.

The other nine have thus been told to choose from alternative home venues from Match Day 12 while they correct the complaints noted with their respective turfs.

Chief Operating Officer of the League Management Company (LMC) Salihu Abubakar said the league body had assessed, amongst other matters at a recent board meeting in Abuja, reports concerning the state of the playing pitches in the country.

The Dan Anyiam Stadium Had Served as Venue for Political Parties' Rally in Recent Months. Image: Twitter @HeartlandFC_ng.
The Dan Anyiam Stadium Had Served as Venue for Political Parties’ Rally in Recent Months. Image: Twitter @HeartlandFC_ng.

The reports were classified in three categories; approved grounds, grounds with minor problems for whose teams have been given a week to put in order, and those with extensive damages for whose clubs have been handed a maximum of a fortnight to fix.

“What we have done is to allow them time to fix the identified problems and if they get it right, the suspension will be lifted but if they don’t, it stays”, Abubakar explains.

The LMC Board also gave the clubs a deadline of 45 days to work on other aspects of the facilities that were found to be below requirement.

According to the report by the stadium inspection team, Enyimba International Stadium, Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Liberation Stadium, Oghara Township Stadium and Warri Township Stadium, Sani Abacha Stadium, Akure Township Stadium, Aper Aku Stadium, Lekan Salami Stadium and Ilorin Township Stadium are granted full approval to host matches.

The Dan Anyiam Stadium, Owerri, IfeanyiUbah home ground, Wikki Tourists and Abia Warriors stadia were categorised on level 2, on which another round of inspection would commence upon invitation by concerned clubs after Match Day 12.

Giwa FC, FC Taraba, El-Kanemi Warriors, Akwa United and Nasarawa United, whose grounds are deemed to be in a state of great disrepair, will have to play league matches on adopted homes for the next two weeks commencing on Match Day 12, after which progress of the repair would be reviewed at the invitation of the clubs.

In the meantime, the LMC have recomended eight alternative stadia for the clubs to host their league matches pending renovation of their own facility.

These stadia, which were also inspected, include those where league matches had not been taking place. They are the Abuja National Stadium, UJ Esuene Stadium in Calabar, Uyo International Stadium and Karkanda Stadium in Katsina. Others are Otunba Dipo Dina Stadium in Ijebu Ode, Pantami Stadium in Gombe, Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos and Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna.

Abubakar added that “the clubs are free to choose from any of these recommended venues for their home games until their grounds are re-certified.

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