The Katsina Ala Stadium in Benue State and the Samuel Okwaraji Stadium in Imo State have been banned indefinitely from hosting Nigeria Premier League matches.
Explaining the decision to ban the Stadiums, the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) board referred to the match report in the game between Lobi Stars and Akwa United which described the pitch in Katsina Ala as ‘dusty and not Television friendly’ while the report filed by the inspection team on the Orlu Township Stadium showed that the stadium was ‘not ready to host Premier League matches’ yet.
Consequently, Lobi Stars and Heartland have been directed to look for alternative venues for their subsequent home league matches.
In related cases, the NPL has given provisional approvals to Hadeja Township Stadium in Jigawa State as well as the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium in Ibadan, Oyo State that were earlier banned from hosting league matches.
According to the Acting Executive Secretary, the reports from the inspection team to the Hadeja Township Stadium indicated tremendous improvements on the problem areas spotted during the previous inspections while the Nigeria Football League is impressed with the level of improvement on the pitch of the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium that was earlier condemned by the league board owing to its ‘dusty’ nature.
In view of this, Jigawa Golden Stars Football Club of Dutse has been given provisional approval to play its home league fixtures at Hadeja Township Stadium beginning from Week 7 while another inspection is expected to be conducted in due course to confirm the level of maintenance of the stadium. Similarly, Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) of Ibadan has been given provisional approval to play its home fixtures at the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium as from Week 8.