The Sports Ministry has come under attack for the poor state of work on the pitch.
The Super Eagles Coach, Stephen Keshi, on Wednesday clarified his stance on the controversial pitch of the National Stadium, Abuja.
Keshi said on Wednesday that the pitch was ‘not bad’, but a lot needed to be done to improve its standard.
The Wednesday statement by the Eagles Coach follows an earlier one on Tuesday where Keshi had described the pitch as not good for playing football.
“From what I saw, it is a sandy pitch and it is hard; it will be very difficult for the players to play on it, especially the goalkeepers because it is sharp sand.
“If it rains, I think, the pitch will be water-logged,’’ Keshi had said on Tuesday.
Keshi explained on Wednesday that his statements were not meant to be derogatory, but were made to help correct an anomaly he observed when the Super Eagles trained on the pitch on Tuesday.
“I was responding to a question by a reporter and what I said was that the Stadium is not bad but we still have some work to do. I am surprised that it has become Keshi condemning the entire process of stadium repairs,” he said.
Keshi’s remarks on the stadium comes weeks after federal lawmakers had crticised the sports ministry for spending N96.6 million to renovate the pitch.
The Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Sports, Godfrey Gaya, who expressed his dissatisfaction with the renovated pitch, described the amount announced as spent on the pitch as “doubtful.”
Eagles ready for Ethiopia
Keshi, who spoke at a media parley for journalists on Wednesday morning, also added that the Nigerian team was prepared for the Ykdachew Tessema Stadium bumping pitch to be used for the World Cup Qualifier against Ethiopia on Sunday.
“My players are professionals and they will be ready for any pitch that the Ethiopians will have on offer, because at this level we don’t offer any excuses,” he said.
Real Betis midfielder, Nosa Igiebor, who arrived Wednesday afternoon, explained that arrived late in camp because his club was holding several meetings.
“We were meeting and meeting and at the end of the day I still had to make my reservations; but I’m ready,” he said.
Another late arrival, Shola Ameobi, said he arrived late because of a flight mix-up.
“It was very long and tiring but I’m getting used to it. But I want to go to the World Cup with Nigeria, so I must make the sacrifice”, he said.
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