El-Kanemi Warriors has been given the green light to return to its home ground in Maiduguri for its Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) matches.
According to the club chairman, Mohammed Zanna, the League Management Company (LMC), which oversees the running of the top-flight in Nigeria, granted the club the permission to return to its Maiduguri Stadium this week.
He explained that El-Kanemi and its owners, the Borno State Government, however, had to concedeto certain conditions which made the return to Maiduguri possible as it will now play hosts to 3SC this Sunday in its home.
“We want to thank the LMC for showing understanding in granting us this request to return home. We will play Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) on Sunday in Maiduguri and the state government has given the LMC assurances on this game.
“At the same time, the (Borno) state government will take up the bill for flying in the away team as away to convince everyone that our home ground is safe for playing football again. This will continue for a few games. 3SC, as I speak to you, flew in from Abuja to Maiduguri and we had our people aswell as security on ground at the airport to receive them,” he explained.
3SC flew into Maiduguri on Friday with a 25-man team that includes 18 players, three coaches and four backroom staff including medical persons.
Zanna also disclosed to supersport.com that they had to make the request as the financial burden of playing at the Karkanda Stadium in Katsina, whichis about 700 kilometres away from Maiduguri, waseating deep into their pockets.
He claimed that El-Kanemi pays N200, 000 per match day to use the Karkanda Stadium apart from other overhead expenses to keep the team “happy.”
“We are glad to be back in Maiduguri; it was really taking up huge amount from us especially paying N200,000 for the stadium (in Katsina) and yet having no fans to watch to earn something in return plus spending other amount to ensure that the team is well-looked after and the team is happy. At least with this development, we will have fans at our stadium, make and save some money.”
It is, however, the first time that El-Kanemi will play a league game at the Maiduguri stadium since 2013 in the wake of security concerns in Borno following pockets of attacks on the city by fighters.