All the venues being proposed for home matches by clubs representing Nigeria in African competitions this year will be inspected by officials of the Nigeria Football Federation.
This was the agreement reached at the end of a meeting of NFF officials and officials of the four Clubs – Rangers International, Rivers United, FC IfeanyiUbah and Wikki Tourists – at the NFF Secretariat, Abuja on Wednesday.
Deliberations centred on match venues, stadium readiness, team preparation, team travel and accommodation, logistics, match officials travel and accommodation, communication with NFF and officials of the opposition team, safety, security and medical provisions.
NFF’s Director of Competitions, Bola Oyeyode, briefed officials of the four clubs on requirements of the Confederation of African Football and harped on the importance of being fully prepared in all the noted areas in order not to attract avoidable sanctions and unpleasant experience during their campaigns.
NPFL champions Rangers International will fly the country’s flag in the CAF Champions League alongside second-placed Rivers United, while Federation Cup winners, FC IfeanyiUbah, and League third place finishers, Wikki Tourists, will campaign in the CAF Confederation Cup.
The Flying Antelopes propose to make use of the 25,000-capacity Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium (The Cathedral) for their home matches, with Rivers United opting for the Yakubu Gowon Stadium (16,000 capacity) in Port Harcourt and Wikki Tourists using the 18,000-capacity Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium, Bauchi.
FC IfeanyiUbah, nicknamed Anambra Warriors, and the only privately-owned Club among the four, will host home matches at the 17,000-capacity Ifeanyi Ubah International Stadium, Nnewi.
Oyeyode noted that none of the four stadia had been previously homologated by the Confederation of African Football, hence the need for NFF to inspect the venues well ahead of the African competitions.
The Commissioner for Youth and Sports in Bauchi State, Hon. Ibrahim Madaki Sale, led the Wikki Tourists delegation, which also included the Director of Sports, Lawal Garba; Bauchi FA Chairman, Yahuza Adamu Ningi; Chairman of Wikki FC, Isa Musa Matori; and FA Secretary, Ibrahim Garba.
Enugu FA Chairman, Chidi Ofo Okenwa, led the Rangers’ delegation that also had Rangers Acting Chairman, Steve Oruruo, and Amobi Ezeaku.
The Vice Chairman of Anambra FA, Barrister J. B. C. Obikwelu, and FC IfeanyiUbah team manager, Igwe Jonathan, stood in for the Anambra Warriors, while Rivers State FA Secretary, Ibigoni Benjamin-Akobo, represented Rivers United.
The first leg, first round of this year’s African club competitions will take place on the weekend of February 9 to 11.
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