In the next round of qualifying matches for the 2022 World Cup, Liberia have gotten permission to host their Nigerian opponents in Morocco instead of the earlier designated Liberian venue of SKD Sports Stadium in Monrovia.
The Super Eagles are scheduled to face Liberia’s Lone Star on November 11 and then host the Cape Verde on November 14. In a report per the Daily Observer, “Following CAF’s decision to maintain the ban on the SKD Sports Stadium as the facility still does not fully meet the set CAF stadium minimum requirements, the Kingdom of Morocco has granted Liberia the use of one of its stadiums, Grand Stade de Tanger for the Lone Star’s remaining two matches in the 2022 Qatar World Cup Qualifiers.”
The Eagles got a hard-fought 2-0 win over the Lone Star on September 3 at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos and lead Group C with nine points from four matches-two points better off than the Crocodiles of Cape Verde, who they host on November 14.
The Daily Observer added: “Following CAF’s re-inspection visit to the facility from October 15 to 17-a visit that was initially scheduled for September 12 to 13-CAF on October 20, informed the LFA that based on the inspection report, they (CAF) “regret to inform you that the stadium still does not fully meet the set CAF stadium minimum requirements and consequently will not be approved for the qualifying matches of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 matchday 5 & 6.”
The Grand Stade de Tanger is a 45,000-seater stadium and is located in Tangier.
The move came is hinged on CAF’s decision on SKD Sports Stadium being not up to the required standard. “We would like to point out that among other stadium requirements; one of the main concerns in the stadium is the pitch in the field of play, which is not up to the required level to host CAF/FIFA matches.
“As a technical recommendation, the stadium management should consider removing the pitch altogether and installing a new one, while hiring in a professional company to conduct a full assessment of the ground and subsequently assist with the maintenance of the pitch,” CAF said in its communication.
The Eagles will hope to do the business against the Liberians on the lush Grand Stade de Tanger to book their slot in the last set of CAF qualifiers that will hold in March 2022.