The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare, has assured football stakeholders in the country that the National Stadium pitch in Surulere, Lagos could be ready to host Super Eagles and other International matches by May 2021.
The Minister made this assertion during an inspection tour of the Surulere National Stadium, Lagos which is undergoing rehabilitation.
According to him, “it’s high time we had a familiar ground for our national teams. The Moshood Abiola National stadium in Abuja and the
National Stadium in Surulere Lagos will be ready to host matches next year and it will be a major plus to our teams when they have a familiar ground.
“This arrangement is under the adopt initiative which is a public-private model that we developed.
“We were able to pitch that to the private sector. we discussed with a philanthropist and lover of sports Sir Adebutu Kessington, who was convinced about the proposal.
“He is somebody that has the youth of this country at heart and has done so much to support youth and sports development.
“As a form of CSR, he is committed to providing fund at 100 percent and we have no doubt that it will be completed in May.”
The minister recalled the many rich history of great footballers that have played on the pitch since it was first used to host the second All Africa Games in 1973.
“The Stadium has a rich history with the likes of Christian Chukwu, Segun Odegbami and host of ex internationals who played in the memorable edifice that hosted so many international competitions.
“The Engineer working on the site has assured that the stadium will be ready for use by May next year,” stressed the minister.
Dare also assured all that a maintenance template is in place to ensure that the facility does not go back to its sorry state.
“The Ministry has a department of facility which is building a template for maintenance of the stadium. We have a Facility Manager from the private sector that will work with our department of facility. Maintaining this facility is critical and we are going to take it very serious,” he concluded.