With just few weeks to the kick-off of Confederation of African Football (CAF) Confederation Cup, fans of Kwara United Football Club are in grave danger of not watching their darling club play their home games at the Ilorin Township Stadium as the designated match venue pitch is in a terrible state.
Daily Links report that the artificial pitch at the Stadium is long overdue for a change after it was first laid by the Bukola Saraki’s Administration.
The Ilorin Township Stadium pitch has been left in a bad shape with the turf suffered from over use and lack of maintenance.
A source informed this medium that the pitch is a high-risk one after it hosted a socio-political event which made it to suffer severe damage and making it unplayable.
And according to the source, “this has sparked fears that the Confederation Cup’s home games of Kwara United could be relocated to another venue if government fails to take urgent action.”
Another source said, “If CAF inspectors do their work properly, they will not approve the stadium for the Intercontinental Competition because of the very deplorable state of the pitch.
“The Kwara State Government has to do something about this.”
However, information reaching Daily Links revealed that the Kwara State Football Association has announced that it has received official approval to kickstart renovation of the playing turf of the state stadium from Artificial to Natural Grass to put all measures in place for Kwara United continental engagement.
According to the information, “It was noted that CAF Legal Boss, SAN A.U Mustapha has bankroll the project to support Governor Malam Abdulrasaq Abdulrahman administration commitment to sports development and also to give back to his community and help the club meet with best practices.
“It was gathered that contractors have touched down in Ilorin with approval from the State Football Association however they are been pecked back by the Kwara State Sports Commission reluctance to give access to the stadium as efforts to reach the chairman, Bola Mogaji prove abortive.
“It was also observed that Chairman, secretary and media manager of the State Football Association refused to comment as at the time of this report.
“Delay of this project which has come at no cost for the state government may turn out to be fatal as calculations by the engineers noted the turf will be fully ready for use in four and half weeks, meaning Kwara United may be forced to adopted another ground for their home games provided they qualified to the next round”, the information said.
A source close to the Sports Commission had reacted that the Kwara State FA Chairman was in the office of the Executive Chairman of the Kwara Sports Commission with the representative of the company to undertake the removal and regrassing of the stadium pitch.
The source added that “they resolved to have a meeting with the Executive Governor of the state before the work commences. So this post about Kwara Sports Commission delays renovation to state stadium is uncalled for”.
It will be recalled that new CAF administration under the leadership of Patrice Motsepe has cracked down on bad football pitches across the continent.
This he said was in line with the administration’s vision to project African football to a standard at par with other continental football federations.
According to Motesepe, one of the basic means to improve on African football is for countries to invest in maintaining their pitches and facilities in top shape, in line with FIFA regulations.
The big question by the football loving Kwarans is that can the State Government maintain a natural grass field. “This is something that I will suggest be considered first, before removing the synthetic. Maintenance of grass court is more demanding, compare to synthetic grass.”
Daily Links report that Kwara United have been given the slot of the 2022 prospective AITEO Cup winner due to the competition’s inability to meet the deadline stipulated by the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
The Ilorin-based club posted it on Twitter, clearly excited about getting the continental ticket.
“Jubilation as @KwaraUnitedFC will play in the CAF Confederations Cup for finishing 4th in #NPFL22 Season. CAF released participating Club on Sunday night. @thenff picked @KwaraUnitedFC due to the CAF registration deadline as Aiteo Cup is still ongoing. Draws are on Tuesday in Egypt.”