NIGERIAN Football Federation (NFF) officials have expressed concern over the state of the Cape Coast Stadium pitch where the Super Eagles will play the Black Stars of Ghana in a World Cup play-off on March 25.
Fifa has drawn Nigeria to play Ghana in a two-legged World Cup qualifier away in Cape Coast on March 25 and at Abuja on March 29. With the winner of the tie qualifying for Qatar 2022, the stakes are high , prompting the NFF to express concern about the state of the Cape Coast pitch.
Super Eagles team manager, Patrick Pascal, said that there is no course for alarm over the news of the poor state of the Cape Coast Stadium, however,. He stated that the Confederation of African Football (Caf) is always strict and professional in screening stadia for international engagements, so the NFF would be depending on the continental federation to decide whether the match would be shifted to another venue or not.
Mr Pascal said: “The NFF don’t have the power to change the venue of matches. If the Cape Coast Stadium is not good enough for the World Cup qualifiers, Caf will announce the change.
“The NFF is observing situations in Ghana and if there is any need to complain about the venue or anything ahead of the match, we will report to Caf to take the final decision on it. Our focus now is on the qualifiers and we pray that players invited are injury-free.”
According to recent reports, the Cape Coast stadium football pitch was badly damaged during the celebration of Ghana 65th Independence Day celebrations on March 6. Pictures published on social media showed holes in the pitch, while others showed work still ongoing.
There have been suggestions that the poor condition of the pitch might force the World Cup qualifiers play-off to be moved to another stadium in Accra or Kumasi. Earlier this year, the Ghana Football Association had asked Caf to allow it to move the game to another stadium but this request was rejected.