(The aerial view of the stadium. Image credit: premiumtimesng.com)
When the mainbowl of the Abuja national stadium, (re-named MKO Abiola national stadium) was commissioned for the 8th All Africa Games in 2003, it was a monument of national pride because of its state of the art facilities, but few years after that, the 60,000 capacity sporting arena dilapidated to a site of national embarrassment with grass and garbage littering every spot.
Consequently, the Minister of sports, Mr Sunday Dare passionately appealed to public-spirited individuals and corporate organisations last year to help in fixing the eyesore of a pitch. Heeding the call to serve humanity, African Richest man and businessman, Alhaji Aliko Dangote offered to renovate the stadium with a staggering $1m. And less than a year after that, he has fulfilled his promise and here are some of the new features of the renovated stadium;
(Cross-sectional view of the pitch. Image credit: punchng.com)
The first thing worthy of mentioning is the 2022 FIFA-approved six inches turfgrass from Europe known as Platinum TE paspalum, which has been planted on the field. It was adjudged the best grass for a football field by FIFA which has given the venue a facelift.
(The newly installed VAR complaint board. Image credit: premiumtimesng.com)
Another thing that has added an aesthetic view to the national stadium is the installation of the FIFA complaint Video Assistant Referees (VAR) scoreboard for a replay. It would interest you to know that not even every popular football field in Europe has one yet, but it is now present at the MKO national stadium.
Image credit: dailytrust.com
In addition to the above facilities, the water sprinklers have also been renovated which will keep the turf regularly irrigated and prevent the grasses from drying out due to lack of water.
Meanwhile, the sports Ministry has assured the sports lovers that football activities will soon resume at the venue.
Image credit: punching.com
Although the general public received the news with joy, concerns have equally been raised as to whether the stadium will receive the maintenance it deserves since that was what destroyed it in the first place. We hope the Ministry of Sports will put appropriate measures in place to prevent future deterioration due to negligence.