AFCON 2025 bid: CAF team inspects Nigeria’s stadia facilities

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An inspection team from the Confederation of African Football has assessed facilities in Nigeria in order to gauge the country’s joint bid with Benin Republic to host the 2025 Africa Cup of Nations.

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Guinea was initially awarded the hosting rights for the tournament but the West African country had to pull out due to inadequate infrastructure.

Nigeria and Benin Republic have jointly joined the race to replace Guinea, and CAF inspected some of the stadiums in the former over the weekend.

The CAF team will evaluate the readiness of the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja, Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo, Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba, Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos, Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City and Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna.

Already, the four-man team of Jean-Louis Romain, Emma Bollet, Didier Levy and Timour Tawfik (accompanied by Nigerian football officials) has assessed the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in the nation’s capital, Teslim Balogun Stadium, Stephen Keshi Stadium and the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City.

At the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja, the team was received on Friday night by the Deputy Director (Facilities) of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports, Mallam Mohammed Rabiu, and the stadium managers. They were taken through several sections of the arena and made some observations.

Yesterday, the team stopped over at the Teslim Balogun Stadium which is currently under extensive renovation, and were received by the Executive Chairman of Lagos State Sports Commission, Sola Aiyepeku, alongside the Director General, LSSC, Toyin Gafaar, and the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Grassroots Development, Anthony Adeyinka Adeboye.

At the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba today, the Executive Director of Delta State Sports Commission, Chief Tonobox Okowa (who is also President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria), was joined by the DSSC Director General, Chief Chris Anazuih, and the Chairman of the Delta State Football Association, Chief Kenneth Nwaomucha, as the team went round the facility.

In Benin City, also today, the Chairman of the Edo State Sports Commission, Yusuf Alli, accompanied as they inspected several sections of the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium.

CAF has recommended the need to reconfigure facilities in a way that VIPs, players and their officials, media representatives and the fans will have seamless and distinct entry and exit points to play their part without any group obstructing the other.

The inspectors will also assess the Stade Charles de Gaulle, Porto Novo in Benin Republic.

Nigeria hosted and won AFCON in 1980, and co-hosted with Ghana in 2020, stepping in to replace original hosts Zimbabwe.

The country has hosted a number of major football and general sporting events such as the African Games (1973 and 2003), the FIFA U-20 World Cup (1999) and the FIFA U-17 World Cup (2009).

 

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