The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has barred the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) from using the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos State, to host games of the men’s senior national football, the Super Eagles.
The ban was communicated in a letter dated 17 October, signed by Raul Chipenda, CAF Development Director, and addressed to Mohammed Sanusi, NFF Secretary-General.
According to the letter, which was published on Twitter by Osasu Obayiuwana, a British-Nigerian reporter for BBC World Football, on Saturday, the stadium “did not meet the set CAF stadium minimum requirement to host CAF international matches” despite apparent efforts to improve its standard.
“Based on the inspection report, the stadium continues to lack CAF criteria and requirements in order to host international competitions, while the recommendations and remarks addressed to your federation in the context of previous inspections have not been fully implemented.,” the letter read.
The African football governing body permitted the NFF to host the Super Eagles 2022 World Cup qualifying game against Cape Verde at the stadium in November. It, however, subsequently barred the facility from hosting further games such as the upcoming Eagles home leg in the World Cup qualifying play-off, scheduled for March 2022.
The stadium was also barred from hosting CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup games.
The letter read: “Upon conclusion of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 matchday 5 & 6, a formal prohibition is automatically placed on the use of Teslim Balogun Stadium in any subsequent CAF international senior national teams matches and other CAF men’s interclubs competitions.”
CAF listed a long list of requirements that the NFF and the stadium management must meet before the stadium is certified and approved to host CAF grade A matches.
Some of the conditions listed include the quality of the pitch playing surface, with CAF recommending the installation of a new natural pitch; lack of equipment in the teams and referees’ rooms, ill-equipped medical room, and poor doping toom.
Other areas of concern raised are the refurbishment of the spectators’ stands, provision of standard sanitary facilities, refurbishment of the Very Important Personality (VIP) stand, refurbishment of the media tribune, installation of a proper media centre and provision of WiFi for journalists, and maintenance of the general cleaniness of the stadium.
The Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos State has been the home ground for the Super Eagles of Nigeria and has hosted all of their 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers