By Olawale Ayeni, Abuja
The Minister of youth and sports development, Sunday Dare, has tasked the contractors (Aron Nigeria Limited) handling the renovation of the MKO National Abiola Stadium in Abuja to deliver a FIFA standard pitch.
Recall that Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, had earmarked $1 million for the renovation of some parts of the 60,000 capacity stadium, which had gone from a monument of national pride to a site of national embarrassment.
Dare while speaking to newsmen in Lagos, yesterday, insisted that the Aron Nigeria Limited handling the project is on course to deliver a world standard pitch and would meet up with the February 2021 deadline.
He said the ministry is also providing technical support to ensure that the project meets the required standard, adding that proper checks were carried out by the Dangote Group before the contract was awarded to Aron Nigeria Limited.
“We did a little bit of research on the company and we’re confident that they will deliver on the mantle given to them,” he said.
“They adopt a pitch model for private participation, a mode where we get an organisation or individual to adopt a sports facility. We offer our expertise to present to them five professional developers and when it comes to pitch they must have a FIFA license. Aron has a FIFA license.
“The Dangote Company took about 10 months to give the pitch to Aron Nigeria Limited, taking all the protocols to bear. When the work is done fully by next year when FIFA will come for inspection and if it doesn’t meet the standard, Aron would have to deliver FIFA Standard pitch”.
LEADERSHIP sports also gathered that the grass, Platinum te Paspalum, to be used will be the same type FIFA has approved for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The new scoreboards which will be installed at the stadium will be Video Assistant Referee (VAR) compliant.