The minister of youth and sports development, Sunday Dare, is elated with the return of competitive football to the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja.
The newly rehabilitated pitch of the stadium, which was handed over to the Ministry by the private company, Dangote Industries Group, that fixed it, hosted a preseason tournament tagged ‘Presidential Cup’ over the weekend.
Speaking with newsmen after the final match on Sunday, Dare said the return of football actions to the Stadium is confirmation of President Muhammadu Buhari administration commitment to infrastructural development in all spheres of national life, especially sports.
“This Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja is now an actualized dream,” Dare opened up to the media, “This is what this administration is committed to. The next stop is Lagos.
“Look at the preseason tournament, the Presidential Cup, it was used to test this pitch, to make sure it comes alive fully.
“You can see the excitement in the footballers and their teams as a whole. We have now seen the impact of a good pitch on the game and we hope very soon this will also happen at the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos,” Dare added.
Kano Pillars, Sunshine Stars, Akwa United and Lobi Stars, all Nigeria Professional Football League(NPFL)clubs, participated in the three day tournament played in round robin format.
Six matches were played in all, three by each team, with Kano Pillars emerging winners with two wins and a draw, Sunshine Stars finished second with two wins and a loss, Akwa United were third with a win, a draw and a loss while Lobi Stars, with three losses, finished in bottom place.