Plateau United and Kano Pillars may play their league home matches away from their own grounds next season.
This follows the League Management Company’s disapproval of their stadiums for Nigeria Professional Football League matches.
Plateau United play their home games at the New Jos Stadium while Pillars hold theirs at Sani Abacha Stadium, but it now appears both clubs would have to choose a new home ground.
The LMC deem both facilities unsuitable for top-flight matches — and that means unless appropriate upgrades are made before the season kicks off, no matches would be allowed to hold in either stadium.
Enugu Rangers, Warri Wolves and MFM may also not be permitted to host league games at their stadiums, after their grounds were also listed among those in need of upgrades or repairs.
The LMC, in a statement, explained that,
“The stadia listed for upgrade/repair require relaying of new playing surfaces (pitches), provision of floodlights, TV camera platforms, upgrade of changing rooms, additional exit & entry gates among others”.
While the likes of Pillars and Rangers have a small chance of upgrading their facilities to LMC standards in time for the new campaign, it seems unlikely Abia Warriors can meet up with the league body’s demands, as their facility — Umuahia Township Stadium — as well as Dutse Township Stadium have both been “recommended for complete remodelling and reconstruction”.
Clubs whose stadiums do not get permission to host matches before the season kicks off “would have to choose from any of the approved stadia”.
The approved stadiums are Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos; Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo; Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin; Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba; Okigwe Township Stadium; Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium, Port Harcourt; Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium, Bauchi; Pantami Stadium, Gombe; Aper Aku Stadium, Makurdi; Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna; Enyimba Stadium, Aba; Muhammadu Dikko Stadium, Katsina; Ilorin Township Stadium.
Listed for upgrade/repair are Umuahia Township Stadium; Dutse Township Stadium; Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano; Agege Stadium; Akure Stadium; Warri City Stadium; New Jos Stadium; Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu; Lafia Township Stadium; Ifeanyi Ubah Stadium, Nnewi; Fufure Stadium, Yola.
A kick-off date for the near campaign has not been confirmed, but sources say the league could begin as early as November 22.
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