• Saturday, July 13, 2024
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NPFL says Lekan Salami Stadium unfit for matches despite renovations

Lekan Salami Stadium

Lekan Salami Stadium, the home ground of Shooting Stars Sporting Club (3SC), has been declared unsuitable for hosting matches in the upcoming 2024/25 season by the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL), despite recent renovations.

In 2021, the Oyo State government renovated the stadium, incorporating cutting-edge technologies and FIFA-recommended natural grass. However, this did not prevent the NPFL from finding the stadium lacking in necessary standards.

This decision was announced following an NPFL board meeting, as reported on their official website.
3SC was among seven clubs affected by this ruling, alongside Sunshine Stars of Akure, Plateau United of Jos, Kwara United of Ilorin, Abia Warriors of Aba, Niger Tornadoes of Minna, and newly promoted El-Kanemi Warriors of Maiduguri.

The NPFL informed the clubs via a letter, highlighting issues such as the poor condition of playing turfs and the lack of broadcast support facilities like elevated camera stands.

Davidson Owumi, the NPFL’s Chief Operating Officer (COO), stated that clubs failing to meet the required standards would have to play at alternative stadiums for the upcoming season.

“As we look forward to the meeting, letters have been written to some of the clubs whose facilities were found not suitable to host the NPFL matches in the new season in compliance with provisions of Facility requirements of the Club Licensing Regulations,” Owumi noted.

He urged clubs not in receipt of the letters to conduct self-reviews of their facilities to ensure they meet the necessary requirements for approval.

“Abia Warriors, Sunshine Stars, Shooting Stars, and Kwara United are among the clubs directed to address defects in their stadiums. The others include Niger Tornadoes, Plateau United, and the newly promoted El-Kanemi Warriors,” he added.

These clubs were ordered to upgrade their playing turfs or face the prospect of playing on alternative grounds.

Lekan Salami Stadium, with over 10,000 seating capacity, was built in 1988 and has hosted Shooting Stars’ home games ever since.

The NPFL’s 2024/25 season is expected to kick off on August 31. Additionally, the league body has proposed July 15 and 16 for its Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Lagos, where the board, club officials, and other stakeholders will review the past season and deliberate on the new one.