The Minister of Youths and Sports, Sunday Dare, has assured that football matches would soon return to the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja, as the stadium now wears a new look following its renovation by the ministry.
Formerly known as the National Stadium, Abuja, it was renamed after M.K.O. Abiola, the presumed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, in 2019.
The stadium, which was built at a whopping $360 million to host the African Games in 2003, had deteriorated while the environment looked unkept and rough with grasses growing all over the walkways and parking lot.
The Abuja stadium has been undergoing rehabilitation with re-grassing of the main pitch, replacement of the scoreboard and vandalised cables restored, which ensures the facility is well lighted at night to enhance security, all made possible due to the intervention and collaboration with the Dangote Group.
In a statement by the ministry and made available to Tidesports source, the minister assured that the work was almost at the completion stage.
“Football action will soon return to the main bowl of the newly renovated Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja, as the pitch is now lush green and the scoreboard functional,” the statement reads.
“The new-look of the Stadium was made possible by the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, after he made a plea to business mogul, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, who agreed to bankroll the rehabilitation of the stadium.
“Prior to the intervention, the Moshood Abiola National Stadium had deteriorated to the extent that the pitch had become an eyesore and the scoreboard dysfunctional.
“The rehabilitation is in fulfilment of the mandate of the minister to renovate existing infrastructures and develop grassroots sports.”
“The adopt-a-pitch initiative has resulted in the rehabilitation of the Moshood Abiola National Stadium.
Garba Lawal said, “A fantastic piece of news because this is the stadium we opened in 2003 and I remembered we lost 3-0 against Brazil, that was the day the stadium was opened and I played full minute that day.
“It is an awesome ground and I’ve always wanted to see the Eagles in Abuja and Lagos. The minister did a wonderful job, the ministry, federal government and everyone involved did well to see that the stadium is ready.
“The most important thing now its the maintenance.
of the stadium which has always been our problem.”
Mutiu Adepoju added, “It is a good thing that our stadiums are having good shape especially the national stadium in Abuja.
“It is great news and one need to be happy about it and such developments are what we are looking for because this is what is good for our sports.
“Kudos should go to the minister for the good job and I am happy that the stadium is ready after renovation.”
The statement also revealed that there are plans to rehabilitate the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium, Ibadan, Oyo State, through a private-public partnership model.
Organisers Explain 2021 NSF Postponement
According to a statement by the Festival Secretary, Peter Nelson, and addressed to all Commissioners of Sports and Directors of Sports, the postponement was at the request of the host, Delta State.
“I wish to convey the request of Delta State Government to shift the date of the 21st National Sports Festival earlier scheduled to hold from November 2 to 15, 2022.
“It is now shifted to start on November 28 to December 10, 2022.
“The reason for the postponement is to give Delta State more time to complete some of the facilities needed for the festival,” the statement reads.
It will be recalled that the 20th edition of the National Sports Festival held in Benin City, Edo State, which was tagged: “Edo 2020,” also suffered several postponements until it finally held from April 2 to 14.
Nigeria Must Embrace Grassroots Sports Dev – Amusan
Speaking in Lagos at a dinner organised in her honour by The Plug, an entertainment firm, tagged ‘Tobi Amusan’s Homecoming,’ she blamed the exodus of the Nigeria’s top athletes to other countries to what such nations offer the athletes.
“Grassroots sports development is something we lack here and the reason we often lose our top athletes to other countries of the world.
“From my experience training in the United States, if we can have such development here, we can groom young talents and unearth more Tobi Amusans,” she said.
On the recent ratification of her record by World Athletics, Amusan said: “That my world record was ratified by the world body means that I am drug free and that I am clean. I feel great about it. Every time I am on the track, my eyes are always set on how to win and I execute it by winning.”
She also spoke on the recent reception by the Federal Government, saying, “It is great feeling that we were recognised by the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. In as much as we did the work, it was an honour that they took into account and they recognised the fact that we did the nation proud. It is such a great feeling getting the national honour.”
She acknowledged the support she got after her world record feat, with her followers on Twitter rising from 3000 to 150,000 under 24 hours, saying it showed that people appreciate what she is doing.
On the criticism by men’s 400 metres world record holder, Michael Johnson, after her record breaking race in Oregon, U.S, Amusan said she was not bothered. “Honestly, I kept doing my thing because after the World Championships, I had other competitions to attend. I don’t dwell on negativity… I look on the bright side of the sport.”
At the event, Flutterwave, which used the occasion to declare it has signed a multi-year partnership deal with Amusan, said: “It is very difficult to find athletes who embody our core values the way Tobi does.”
YSFON : Academy Coach Begs For Assistance
He said that his team was representing Rivers state at the ongoing Chief of Naval Staff National (YSFON) Competition in Ilorin, Kwara State. He said he had written a letter to the Ministry of Sports and also to some private individuals for assistance.
King made the assertion on Saturday in an exclusive interview with Tidesports in Port Harcourt before leaving for Kwara state.
According to him he had nothing to do than to borrow money for the journey believing that when the State’s Commissioner for Sports sees the letter he would not fail to respond to it.
“ As you can see, my boys are ready for the competition but we lack support.
“ I have written to the Ministry of Sports and also to some private individuals to assist us but I have not gotten any reply, yet.
By: Kiadum Edookor
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