Sunshine, Rangers stadiums, five others fail NPFL test


Home grounds nominated by seven Nigeria Professional Football League clubs have been adjudged not suitable to host matches of the 2022/23 season, except they improve conditions of stated areas where defects were observed by stadium facility inspectors.

Lobi Stars, Abia Warriors, Enugu Rangers, Wikki Tourists, Niger Tornadoes, Sunshine Stars and El-kanemi Warriors are the clubs that have been notified by the league body of their facilities falling short of the Club Licensing requirements.

According to a statement from the NPFL, Plateau United and Gombe United are yet to submit to the facility inspections and have not communicated any reasons for their failure to do so.

Worst hit are Lobi, Warriors and Tornadoes, which the inspectors noted in separate reports require serious and extensive makeover works to meet required minimal standards for approval.

Majority of the facilities at the seven grounds nominated by the clubs were found not to be suitable and these range from poor lighting, bad playing turfs, unsuitable conveniences for fans in the general area and obsolete scoreboards. Also found below standards were the changing rooms for players and match officials, medical rooms, meeting rooms and water supply.

Other defects in the case of Lobi, Abia, Tornadoes and Sunshine are poor playing pitches, defective scoreboards and poor sanitary conditions around and inside the stadium.

On the Akure Township Stadium, Sunshine Stars were informed that, “the playing pitch (synthetic) is in playable condition, but there are segments of the pitch that may need maintenance. The available floodlight is not functional.”

The NPFL added, “The furniture in the dressing rooms are outdated and need to be upgraded. There is no Control Room, Media Centre, Broadcast Studio, Press Conference Hall, Office Space or Meeting Room.

“The rest rooms and conveniences for spectators are dilapidated and in poor sanitary condition.”

Lobi Stars were told that “the playing pitch, which is synthetic, was found not to be in ideal condition with lots of bad segments needing proper attention or reinforcement.”

“The Aper Aku stadium lacks a readily available alternate power source, vide a generator. Water supply is not sufficient in the stadium and its environs and the overhead tank in the stadium needs urgent attention as the tank can no longer serve its purpose.”

Niger Tornadoes may likely be directed to nominate an alternative stadium as facilities at the Kotangora Stadium were generally found below standards.

The NPFL report observed that “the playing pitch (natural grass) is not in ideal condition as there are patches at various parts of the field. There are currently no functional floodlights at the stadium and the entire facility is poorly lit, as most of the bulbs in connected areas are dead. The stadium lacks a readily available alternate power source, vide a generator.

“The pitch side benches for teams and match officials are not fit for purpose and need to be replaced. The Dressing Rooms for teams and match officials are dilapidated, lack running water, have unkempt rest rooms, and, has a generally poor sanitary condition.”