By Bassey Ibiatisuho
The Confederation of African Football – CAF has expressed satisfaction with the standard and quality of the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital ahead of the proposed CAF Champions League and Confederation Cup finals.
Head of CAF inspection delegation to the stadium, Inas Ahmed who stated this after inspecting the facility, expressed satisfaction with facilities at the stadium especially its quality of natural grass which he said ranks amongst the best on the continent and pledged to vividly report all that he has met on ground to the CAF hierarchy.
Aside the stadium, the delegation also inspected the Victor Attah International Airport, Ibom Icon Hotel and Golf Resort and Ibom Specialist Hospital among others in line with CAF standard for host city.
Earlier while receiving the inspection team, Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Monday Uko who was in the company of the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Sports, Elder Paul Bassey and management staff members of the state Ministry of Youth and Sports, assured the visitors of the readiness of the state to provide the necessary logistics for the staging of the continental showpiece should the nomination be confirmed.
If approved, the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium which has previously played host to CAF Champions League and Confederation Cup matches involving the state-owned team and current Nigerian Champions, Akwa United FC could become the first Nigerian stadium to host the biggest club football final on the continent, 13 years after Heartland did when the Champions League final was still being decided on a home-and-away basis.
Following the completion of the group stages on April 3, the Champions League knockouts will begin on April 15 and South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns, who were champions in 2016, Wydad Casablanca, Raja Casablanca, ES Setif, CR Belouizdad, Esperance de Tunis and Angola’s Petro de Luanda, Al Ahly are all part of eight teams who have progressed to the quarter-finals.
A draw will be held on Tuesday April 5, after the quarter-finals and semi-finals draws, to determine the “home” team for administrative purposes while the final matches of both CAF Champions League and Confederation Cup have been scheduled for May 29, 2022.