The President of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, has described the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City, as “a world class” edifice.
Pinnick made the comment on Monday in Benin during an inspection tour of the facility. It is also understood that the Super Eagles are also eager to play in a quality arena back home.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Pinnick was led on the inspection by the Deputy Governor of Edo State, Mr Philip Shaibu.
The Eagles are scheduled to play their 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers against the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium on Nov. 13, 2020.
Pinnick said his visit was to see things for himself so as to report to his executive committee members.
He said: “There is a tremendous improvement compared to the last time I came, the turf is very brilliant, it’s what you see in world class facilities. I thank the government of Edo for this facility and we are proud of this achievement.
“The Super Eagles can’t wait to come and play in the state. I’m in touch with the players, who are all excited to be here to play for the country especially, Ahmed Musa, the captain of the team, whose mother is from Edo and he is anxious to play for the nation and his state.
“The NFF will move into the state on Friday, Nov 9, while the players will start arriving from Nov. 11 and after the game, make preparations to fly to Sierra Leone on Friday or Saturday after the game.
“I will communicate all I have seen here to the Ministry of Youths and Sports and also the Executive Committee. I am happy with what we have seen here today and the Supper Eagles will be playing here for a long time.
“We are also going to bring the Supper Falcons here to play; they are the most successful team in Africa, you know this is home, like I told you, I made a promise on behalf of the federation, that is promise kept.
“And also, we’ve always being thankful to Edo government for being there for Nigeria football federation, and we thank them for that generosity at every point in time because these are very sensitive times.
“We are also working because they have been a lot of people coming into the stadium; we have to observe the COVID-19 protocol to the letter. They have written to us officially, this is about 15,000 sitting capacity stadium.
“They want about 6,000 to 7, 000 where they will sit out to observe social distancing, so we are going to look at it, we will send a letter to the ministry and also send a letter to Presidential Task Force, once we get the approval within the next two days we will send.
“I have already spoken to CAF, we will send a representative of CAF and I will want a situation whereby people will be seen decent crowd in the stadium in a very competitive game in Edo.
“We are working towards reducing every mistake humanly and materially possible and ensure we have success.
“The team is like coming home to meet your brother but we will just quietly beat them home and away.”
On the newly installed Video Assistant Referee (VAR) equipment in the stadium, Pinnick said that he had told Gov. Godwin Obaseki and his deputy Philip Shaibu to showcase whatever facilities they have in the stadium.
“You have to showcase whatever facilities you have in Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, we have to write to CAF for approval of the usage of the VAR, but we are very excited about it,” he said.
In his remarks, Shaibu assured that the state was excited to host its first international game in the newly renovated stadium.