By Sedara Philip
Nigeria’s CAF Confederation Cup representatives Rivers United stand a chance of playing the first leg of their quarter-final clash against Tanzanian side Young Africans at home April 23.
This comes after the Confederation of Africa Football inspected their home ground in Port Harcourt on Thursday.
The Nigerian champions were banished to Uyo for their continental campaign by the Confederation of Africa Football, after the Nigeria Football Federation reportedly responded late to a stadium inspection directive.
However, Rivers have performed brilliantly in their group games at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo, emerging runners-up, but have had to bear the huge costs from playing away from their natural home ground.
“For every match in Uyo, Rivers United spent about N5m to hire the stadium. They also paid for security and they never got a dome from gate takings while in Uyo,” a club source said.
Speaking after the inspection, CAF Stadium Inspector, Nasir Jubril, said he was impressed with the improved state of facilities at the new-look Adokiye Amiesiamaka Stadium.
“Considering the work done in the last few months when I was here and now, it’s very impressive,” Jubril stated.
“The facilities have changed totally, the reserve bench is new, the grass on the pitch is a lot better, 10 times better than it was three months ago.
“We have a checklist of what to look out for and I think the stadium has ticked 75 per cent of the boxes. Our report to CAF will greatly determine what decision CAF will take.”
Abba Yola, Chief of Staff to the sports minister, who was also present at the inspection, stated, “Now it’s the responsibility of the NFF, ministry and Rivers government to ensure that the pitch is cleared by CAF. The minister (Sunday Dare) has said he will work with Governor Nyesom Wike to perfect whatever CAF requests.”
Source Punch Ng