The League Management Company has approved 13 stadiums across the country for the upcoming 2020/21 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season.
The certification process is part of the broader club licensing regime, and the LMC explained that the 13 approved grounds met minimum requirements to host games.
Another 11 were recommended for varying degrees of upgrade and repair works before they can be certified.
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 certification 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, Ilorin.
Listed for upgrade and repair works are 11 stadiums but Umuahia Township Stadium and Dutse Township Stadium were recommended for complete re-modeling and re-construction.
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, Ifeanyi Ubah Stadium, Nnewi, and Fufure Stadium, Yola which will be inspected for certification after construction work has been completed.
The League Management Company has communicated the development to the clubs in a memo that reads:
“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 further 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.
Clubs whose home or preferred grounds have been recommended for upgrade would have to choose from any of the certified grounds if they are unable to complete the upgrade before the commencement of the season.