Home grounds nominated by seven Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) clubs have been adjudged not suitable to host matches of the 2022/23 season except they improve conditions of stated areas where defects were observed by stadium facility inspectors.
It was noted that till date, Plateau United and Gombe United are yet to submit to the facility inspections and have not communicated any reasons for their failure to do so.
Lobi Stars, Abia Warriors, Rangers, Wikki Tourists, Niger Tornadoes, Sunshine Stars and El-kanemi Warriors are the clubs that have been notified that their facility fail short of the Club Licensing requirements.
Worst hit however, are Lobi Stars, Abia Warriors and Niger Tornadoes which the inspectors noted in separate reports require serious and extensive makeover works to meet required minimal standards for approval.
Majority of the facilities at the seven grounds nominated by the clubs were found not to be suitable and these range from poor lighting, bad playing turfs, unsuitable conveniences for fans in the general area and obsolete scoreboards. Also found below standards are the changing rooms for players and match officials, Medical rooms, meeting rooms and water supply.
Other defects in the case of Lobi Stars, Abia Warriors, Niger Tornadoes and Sunshine Stars are poor playing pitches, defective scoreboards and poor sanitary conditions around and inside the stadium.
Lobi Stars were told that “the playing pitch, which is synthetic, was found not to be in ideal condition with lots of bad segments needing proper attention or reinforcement”.
“The Aper Aku stadium lacks a readily available alternate power source, vide a generator.
Water supply is not sufficient in the stadium and its environs and the overhead tank in the stadium needs urgent attention as the tank can no longer serve its purpose”.
For Abia Warriors, the report noted that “the field of play at the stadium is still undergoing a replacement.
‘There are no functional floodlights and the general lighting in the stadium is poor. There is no electronic scoreboard, and the manual scoreboard available is in a dire condition”.
“The Dressing Rooms for teams and match officials are dilapidated, lack running water, have unkempt rest rooms, and, has a generally poor sanitary condition”, Abia Warriors were notified.
Rangers were cited for incomplete renovation work on the playing pitch.
On the Akure Township Stadium, Sunshine Stars were informed that, “the playing pitch (synthetic) is in playable condition, but there are segments of the pitch that may need maintenance. The available floodlight is not functional.
“The furniture in the dressing rooms are outdated and need to be upgraded. There is no Control Room, Media Center, Broadcast Studio, Press Conference Hall, Office Space or Meeting Room.
“The rest rooms and conveniences for spectators are dilapidated and in poor sanitary condition”.
While the El-kanemi stadium pitch, safety requirements and broadcast facilities met required standards, the club was directed to expedite work on the Medical Centre and Meeting Rooms.
The report further noted that “the condition of the restrooms for spectators need to be improved upon, as well as the general sanitary condition of the stadium and its environs”
Niger Tornadoes may likely be directed to nominate an alternate stadium as conditions at the Kotangora Stadium was generally found below standards.
The report observed that “the playing pitch (natural grass) is not in ideal condition as there are patches at various parts of the field.
“There are currently no functional floodlights at the stadium and the entire facility is poorly lit, as most of the bulbs in connected areas are dead.
“The stadium lacks a readily available alternate power source, vide a generator.
“The pitch side benches for teams and match officials are not fit for purpose and need to be replaced. The Dressing Rooms for teams and match officials are dilapidated, lack running water, have unkempt rest rooms, and, has a generally poor sanitary condition”.
“There is no provision for Office Space and Meeting Room at the Stadium. There also no Media Center, Conference Room, Production Room or Broadcast Studio”.
Wikki Tourists were advised to fix the pitch side benches for teams and match officials as well as the lightings in the dressing rooms and tunnels.
According to the report, “There are no permanent seats at the VIP section.
“The rest rooms in the dressing rooms of both players and officials are not functional, and some of the furniture are in immediate need of repair. The rest rooms and conveniences for fans are dilapidated and in poor sanitary condition”
The clubs were variously advised to improve on all areas found to be below standard and send evidence to the league or invite the inspectors for physical evaluation in time before the new season kicks off.