BY KUNLE SOLAJA.
With the possibility of Nigeria playing their next home game in Kaduna, Gernot Rohr has lamented the inability of the Super Eagles to make use of bigger stadiums in Abuja and Lagos.
He in particular said he had wanted the Super Eagles’ farewell to the Russia World Cup match to be played in Abuja as was always with most national teams which played such matches in their nations’ capitals.
But it was not possible in the case of Nigeria as the Abuja National Stadium was in such a bad state that it could not be fixed in a very short time.
He said each time he enquired about the pitch, he was always told that it would be fixed soon – a claim that became endless.
National Stadium, Abuja.
He advised that the country can import grass from South Africa and get rollers to make the pitch level. “In about two weeks, the pitch could have been in good shape if that was done”, remarked the coach.
He made similar remarks about the Lagos National Stadium which in the 1970s through the 1980s and 1990s was an impenetrable fortress of the Super Eagles and other Nigerian teams.
It had an ambience that was so electrifying that visiting teams were always afraid to face Nigerian teams there. But the stadium that last hosted a full complement of Super Eagles star players on January 13, 2001 when Nigeria beat Zambia 1-0 in a 2002 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match has become a relic.
The coach who addressed a press conference at the NFF Lagos Liaison office remarked that he was shocked when Victor Agali informed him about the status of the arena.