Poor pitches bane of Nigerian football, says FIFA match agent

FIFANigerian born FIFA facility expert, Ebi Egbe, has lamented the dearth of good pitches in the country, saying it is a big problem for Nigerian football.

Egbe, who watched Nigeria beat Chad last weekend in Kaduna at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, blamed the Super Eagles’ unimpressive performance on the poor state of the Ahmadu Bello Stadium turf.

He said it would be wrong for anybody to expect the players, most of who are coming from Europe, to be at their best when they play in a pitch that belongs to the 19th century.

“I was in Kaduna and I can tell you as an expert in stadium management that it is a shame that we brought the Eagles to play on a turf that is as bad as that of Kaduna. Unfortunately, virtually all the pitches we have in this country today, except for just a few, are as bad as what we have in Kaduna.

The only few pitches that are world class today in Nigeria are the ones in Katsina, Uyo and Makurdi, although the Aper Aku Stadium turf in Makurdi is beginning to deteriorate because it has not been maintained for 12 months. “There is no way the Eagles will be able to express themselves when they come home to play in an undulating pitch that is different from what they have in Europe.

I sounded out the boys after the match and they all cried out over the pitch. It is easy to blame Keshi when we don’t play well, but the question to ask is if we have provided the conducive environment for the team to perform. Against Chad last weekend the visitors were more at home on that bad Kaduna turf and that is the truth.”

The Bayelsa State-born soccer buff whose outfit, Monimichelle laid the Katsina stadium turf, said the NFF should consider taking Super Eagles matches to Katsina.

“The Eagles played a friendly there and fell in love with the pitch. Katsina is a place where you can get a full house of fans any time any day.

When the home lads played there against an amateur league side there were over 20,000 fans. You can imagine what the atmosphere would be when you take an international game there,” Egbe said.

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