CAF Super League venue: Nest of Champions, Uyo set for FIFA/CAF inspection on Wednesday
The 35,000 capacity Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo otherwise known as the Nest of Champions will on Wednesday host FIFA/CAF Inspectors as one of the possible venues for the CAF Super League.
According to a report by veteran journalist MFON PATRICK, a six-man FIFA/CAF delegation will land Uyo aboard Ibom Air to inspect the stadium and related facilities ahead of the planned Multi-Million Dollar CAF Super League in the continent .
CAF President Patrice Motsepe in 2022 proposed a CAF Super league for top football clubs in the continent. Two-time CAF Champions League winners Enyimba FC was accorded the prestigious honour as Nigeria’s representative.
For a competition with huge cash investment like the CAF Super League, the standard of venues must meet acceptable International standards and so the People’s Elephants home ground the Enyimba International Stadium falls short of this standard.
In the alternative, two venues have been selected to host the clubs games when the Super League gets underway, The Moshood Abiola Stadium, Abuja and the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo.
The Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo Hosted the 2022 CAF Confederation Cup Final and currently plays host to host Rivers United FC CAF Confederation Cup group stage matches.
To inspect the Nigerian venues, the FIFA/CAF inspection team SportsRation gathered from MFON PATRICK comprises of Mathew Dean Gilasbey from England, Muhammad Feizal Sidat of Mozambique, and Nasiru Sarkintudu of Nigeria. Others are; Ticciati Duccio, Claudio Zanca and Stacchino Ivan all from Italy.
The FIFA/CAF delegation arrived Abuja on Monday, March 13, 2023 and will land in Uyo on Wednesday March 15, where they will visit and inspect facilities in three top hotels namely; Ibom Icon Hotels Uyo, Four Points by Sheraton Hotels Ikot Ekpene and Monty Hotels Limited Uyo from 12 noon and 4:30pm.
They will also inspect facilities at the Nest of Champions and the training pitch between 5pm-8pm.
After the inspection in Uyo, the FIFA/CAF delegation will return to Abuja for a meeting with the management of Enyimba International and officials of the Nigeria Football Federation before leaving the shores of Nigeria.
Reacting to the development, the Senior Special Assistant on Sports to His Excellency Elder Paul Bassey confirmed the visit and added ” I know FIFA/CAF pride themselves with some degree of thoroughness if not I would have dismissed this visit as a formality because Rivers United is presently playing in Uyo under the authority of CAF and Akwa Ibom State under Governor Udom Emmanuel has been tested and applauded when it comes to excellent sports infrastructure, airline of international standard, hotels of repute and top notch medical facilities which are the requirements of hosting international matches”.
Only two venues; Nest of Champions in Uyo and Moshood Abiola Stadium, Abuja have been considered good enough by the organizers to host the competition and Two-time CAF Champions League winners Enyimba will have to choose which of the venues they want to use as home ground after the inspection by FIFA/CAF delegation.
CAF announced that the African Super League will run on a budget of $200 million and will kick off in August 2023. Half of the budget will be split between the 24 participating clubs, with each team guaranteed a minimum of $2.5 million while the winner will receive a whopping $11.6 million.