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Lobi Stars, Rangers, six other NPFL sides fail Club licensing facility requirements

By Alex Monye
13 October 2022   |   2:55 am
Lobi Stars of Makurdi’s Aper Aku stadium, Enugu Rangers’ Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium and Abia Warriors Umuahia Township Stadium are among the home grounds nominated by clubs

[FILES] Lobi stars. Photo/LobiStars

Lobi Stars of Makurdi’s Aper Aku stadium, Enugu Rangers’ Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium and Abia Warriors Umuahia Township Stadium are among the home grounds nominated by clubs in the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) that have failed the 2022/23 Club Licensing Facility Requirements test.

The NPFL has thus asked the clubs to improve conditions of areas where defects were observed by stadium facility inspectors.

The other clubs are Plateau United, Gombe United, Niger Tornadoes, Sunshine Stars, El Kanemi Warriors and Wikki Tourists.

According to the NPFL, to date, Plateau United and Gombe United are yet to submit to the facility inspections and have not communicated any reasons for their failure to do so.

Lobi Stars, Abia Warriors, Rangers, Wikki Tourists, Niger Tornadoes, Sunshine Stars and El-kanemi Warriors are the clubs that have been notified that their facility fails short of the Club Licensing requirements.

Worst hit, however, are Lobi Stars, Abia Warriors and Niger Tornadoes, which, according to the inspectors in separate reports, require serious and extensive makeover works to meet the required minimum standards for approval.

Majority of the facilities at the seven grounds nominated by the clubs were found not to be suitable and these range from poor lighting, bad playing turfs, unsuitable conveniences for fans in the general area and obsolete scoreboards. Also found below standards are the changing rooms for players and match officials, medical rooms, meeting rooms and water supply.

Other defects in the case of Lobi Stars, Abia Warriors, Niger Tornadoes and Sunshine Stars are poor playing pitches, defective scoreboards and poor sanitary conditions around and inside the stadium.

Lobi Stars were told that “the playing pitch, which is synthetic, was found not to be in ideal condition with lots of bad segments needing proper attention or reinforcement.

“The Aper Aku Stadium lacks a readily available alternate power source, vide a generator. Water supply is not sufficient in the stadium and its environs and the overhead tank in the stadium needs urgent attention as the tank can no longer serve its purpose.”

In Abia Warriors’ case, the report noted: “The field of play at the stadium is still undergoing a replacement. There are no functional floodlights and the general lighting in the stadium is poor. There is no electronic scoreboard and the manual scoreboard available is in dire condition.

“The dressing rooms for teams and match officials are dilapidated, lack running water, have unkempt restrooms and have a generally poor sanitary condition,” the report said.

Rangers were cited for incomplete renovation work on the playing pitch, while for Akure Township Stadium, home of Sunshine Stars, according to the report, “the playing pitch (synthetic) is in playable condition, but there are segments of the pitch that may need maintenance. The available floodlight is not functional.

“The furniture in the dressing rooms is outdated and needs to be upgraded. There is no control room, media centre, broadcast studio, press conference hall, office space or meeting room.

“The restrooms and conveniences for spectators are dilapidated and in a poor sanitary condition.”

The clubs were variously advised to improve on all areas found to be below standard and send evidence to the league or invite the inspectors for physical evaluation in time before the new season kicks off.