The state of sports infrastructure in Nigeria has not ceased to give the Nigerian football community their fair share of headaches, reminding us all of the crucial role proper facilities play in the success of our football players.
The transition of leadership from Sunday Dare to John Enoh has brought the spotlight to the ‘almost ready’ Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja, which unfortunately presents a poor image of our commitment to football and how we focus on our pockets for reasons known to many Nigerians.
In a video recently shared on social media, the ‘almost ready’ stadium was abandoned and not taken care of and soon, it might turn out to be a home for religious worshipers, and wanderers, just like the sorry state of the Surulere National Stadium.
Watch the video here:
As @OwanEnoh took over reins from Sunday Dare, this is the state of the ‘almost ready’ Moshood Abiola Stadium.
AFCON 2025 is near, and if facts are right, Nigeria have submitted a joint bid with the Republic of Benin.
Now, the thing is, if everything cannot be right with the… pic.twitter.com/HuYNVSmOvT
— Ayomide Oguntimehin (@ayo_oguntimehin) August 23, 2023
Football enthusiasts and players, notably Alex Iwobi, have not been shy about voicing their concerns regarding the state of the pitch.
In a press conference witnessed by Soccernet.ng, we could recall Iwobi’s bemused reaction after a disappointing match on the field which spoke volumes.
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The Everton star’s sentiment was echoed on The Beautiful Game Podcast, where he emphasized that Nigeria’s potential can be fully realized if they have the privilege of playing on quality grounds.
The recent events at the MKO Abiola Stadium, where Nigeria faced an unexpected loss against Guinea-Bissau, underscore the importance of proper facilities.
However, the subsequent victories against Guinea-Bissau and Sierra LeoneSierra Leone were achieved away from Nigerian soil, highlighting the disconnect between our talents and the environments in which they perform.
Looking forward to AFCON 2025, the joint bid with the Republic of Benin is undoubtedly a commendable collaboration between Nigeria and their closest allies.
Yet, while we aspire to bring the continental tournament to our shores, it’s imperative that we take a step back and address the foundational issues, and if Nigeria aims to shine as a sporting powerhouse, they must prioritize the development of cutting-edge sporting infrastructure.
It is crucial to note that the pursuit of excellence in sports goes beyond the field, however. it speaks to our national pride, our unity, and our spirit.
But for our sports industry to truly thrive and give us the joy we deserve after the hullabaloo being faced by many Nigerians as of today, they need the backing of modern facilities and resources. And, if we expect these players to compete on the global stage, we must provide them with the tools necessary for success, give them the money they deserve and not pocket money meant for projects for our greedy purposes.
In light of this, as we transition leadership and navigate the challenges ahead, let’s remember that sports have the potential to uplift our country Nigeria—the Super Falcons who has been ranked 10th in the just concluded 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup has proven that to us all.
Now, let’s ensure that our footballers can compete without hindrance, and our fans can experience the joy of victory without reservation. It’s time to invest in our sports infrastructure, and paving the way for Nigeria’s triumphant journey in the world of sports.