BY KUNLE SOLAJA
A preliminary report on the FIFA inspection team that visited Nigeria last month is expected this Thursday. The final competition is slated for July 3- 22 next year.
Nigeria is in good stead to be given the nod following the inspection team’s visit to facilities in Lagos, Benin, Asaba and Uyo.
Lagos is expected to host two groups of the final competition. Teslim Balogun Stadium and the Onikan Arena are the two envisaged venues.
The Teslim Balogun Stadium recently had its artificial turf replaced with natural grass. But the Agege Stadium, which has artificial turf, may be taken as an alternative to the Onikan Arena which turf has the hybrid grass.
A source within FIFA informed www.sportsvillagesquare.com that Lagos State Government might be required to provide a similar hybrid training pitch for the Onikan Arena to be acceptable.
The hybrid grass is a combination of synthetic and natural grasses. FIFA will wants a similar ground as training ground for teams expected to play matches at the Onikan Arena.
The designated training pitches are those of Eagle Club in Surulere, the Legacy pitch at the National Stadium, the Campos Square and the University of Lagos Sports Centre.
St. Nicholas Hospital on Lagos Island is proposed as one of the referral medical outfits.
The Benin centre will have the newly reconstructed all-covered Ogbemudia Stadium as the main venue.
Originally, it was the Ogbe Stadium, inaugurated on December 7, 1968 before the name changed to Ogbemudia on May 18, 2001 when it was re-commissioned.
It is being rebuilt in preparation for the next edition of the National Sports Festival.
The University of Benin sports centre and Western Boys College are designated as training sites.
The medical group of the FIFA team inspected the Central Hospital Benin as the referral medical institution.
The third centre is proposed for Asaba where the new Super Eagles’ nest, the Stephen Keshi Stadium, is the main venue. The training sites are Asaba Squash Courts and St. Patrick’s College. The referral hospitals are St. Luke’s Hospital and Asaba General Hospital.
In Uyo, the proposed venue is Godswill Akpabio Stadium. The Ikot Ekpene Stadium and Godswill Akpabio Training Pitch are designated as training sites).
The Ibom Specialist Hospital and University of Uyo Teaching Hospital are the referral hospitals.