FIFA approves Stephen Keshi Stadium for international matches
• NFF hails Aiteo for aiding Super Eagles’ AFCON qualification
Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President, Amaju Pinnick yesterday revealed that world football body, FIFA has approved the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba for international football matches.
Pinnick said this at the Asaba International Airport, where Delta’s Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa received the Super Eagles on arrival from their 2019 AFCON Qualifier in Johannesburg against South Africa.
The NFF president said it was “a thing of pride for the Super Eagles’’ to travel through the Asaba International Airport.“That stadium (the Stephen Keshi Stadium) is wonderful and the Super Eagles will beat Uganda in their friendly match, even as we know that the Ugandan team has also qualified for AFCON.
“I am therefore excited that FIFA has approved the Stephen Keshi Stadium for international football matches,” Pinnick said.The governor, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Tam Brisibe, said the Super Eagles’ flight from Johannesburg was the first international flight into the airport and it was “momentous.’’
Meanwhile, the NFF has commended Benedict Peters, the man, whose energy company, Aiteo Group has powered Nigerian football in recent times.The NFF said Peters has played a big role in redefining football in Nigeria and creating the enabling factors for the Super Eagles to qualify after missing out on back-to-back editions of the Africa Cup of Nations.
In a message to the founder and Executive Vice President of the Aiteo group, Benedict Peters, Pinnick lauded him and the Aiteo group for putting smiles on the faces of Nigerians.
According to Pinnick, “Aiteo Group has redefined Nigerian football and has put smiles on the faces of Nigerians. “Nigerians are currently celebrating the qualification for AFCON 2019 after two successive misses, and the generality of Nigerians have now joined us in recognizing the role Aiteo played.”In April 2017, Aiteo announced a five-year partnership agreement with the NFF worth an estimated N2.5 billion.
This partnership saw the group emerging as the NFF’s Official Optimum Partner and funding the salaries of coaching staff of the Super Eagles, a move which is believed by many as the singular most important factor that led to Nigeria’s emergence as the first African nation to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
In June 2017, Aiteo followed up this sponsorship with a fresh N2.5 billion agreement to underwrite the cost of the Federation Cup, now renamed Aiteo Cup, which they have taken to greater heights, adding glamour and colour to the game, and making it the largest televised finals in the history of the FA.