A football stakeholder has alleged that the planned improvements in the Kwara State Stadium has been plagued by bureaucratic delays and security breaches largely due to the negligence of the authority in charge.
The stakeholder, who pleaded anonymity, highlighted the impact of the negligence of the constituted Authority on football development, stating that the negligence of authority in charge has led to a series of issues taming the growth of football in Kwara, amid other issues around the stadium.
It was gathered that the environment of the Kwara stadium is in deplorable condition, with the bushes around the stadium overgrown and harbouring criminals who loot shops of traders at the stadium.
Recently, the shop of a photo journalist Abdul Momoh, and other shops in the stadium were looted and robbed in the stadium where items worth hundreds of thousands of naira were carted away.
Meanwhile, the stakeholders salute the efforts of Kwara State Football Association under the leadership of Idris Musa Abdullahi, noting that the stakeholders have been monitoring his progress over the years and are pleased with his stride.
The stakeholder revealed that the Chairman of the Kwara State FA, Idris Musa Abdullahi during his election bid in 2019 promised to provide pitches in every local government in Kwara and the Kwara stadium to aid the development of the game from the grassroot.
He claimed that they (football stakeholders) are aware of the plan of the FA Chairman to create three new pitches inside the Kwara State Stadium, stating that acceptance and approval has been given by the Kwara State Governor, Mall. AbdulRahman AbdulRazak.
The football stakeholder also claimed that the FA Chairman have gotten the approval of the Kwara government to get the synthetic pitch (formerly planted in the Kwara stadium) to build other pitches in Kwara.
He (The Stakeholder), however, alleged that the Kwara Sports Commission, who was charged with the responsibility of implementing the plans failed to do that, noting that necessary authority in the sports commission demanded to see the plan for the pitches.
He alleged that constituted authority in the sport commission have been sabotaging the efforts of football stakeholders in the state thereby making it difficult for football to grow in Kwara.
Finally, he alleged that the sports commission is responsible for the delay of the ongoing construction and redressing of the Kwara stadium.
He alleged that necessary authority in the sports commission delayed the start of work on the Kwara stadium for four months before giving the authorization for work to commence.
On his part, the Executive Chairman of the Kwara State Sports Commission, coach Bola Magaaji said the grass is about 70 percent completed, stating that the condition of the grass is delaying the construction of the dressing rooms.
He added that the state government is hopeful that the Kwara State Stadium ahead of the start of the new Nigeria Premier League campaign will be available for the Harmony Boys.
Coach Bola Magaaji further stated that the maintenance of the pitch is in the hands of the facilitator until the end of the current administration.
“The grass is 60 to 68 percent ready and in fairness, it is the grass that is still disturbing us from working on the dressing room because His Excellency has asked us to make sure that the dressing rooms are ready as well,” he said.
“So in the next fifteen days, half of a month, we’ll go back and see between those periods, maybe work would have started on the dressing rooms. Hopefully, Kwara United will play at home this time around,”he continued.
“His Excellency has given us the go-ahead to bring up the bill for the dressing room so you can be rest assured that as soon as it is ready we’ll give it to him and he doesn’t waste time,” he explained.
“The score board is not part of what I’m doing for now unless you’re going to use manual scoreboard but the dressing room is very essential. We’re not only doing just one side, we’re doing both sides of the dressing room and this time around we’re going to do it to the utmost taste that everybody that comes will say, ‘ohh they did a good job here,” he stated.
“The letter we got from the sponsor was that they would maintain the grass as long as His Excellency is the governor of this State so the maintenance is still with them,” he concluded.
The ongoing work on the Kwara stadium is the reason Kwara United played the concluded 2022/2023 Nigeria Premier League campaign away from the state.
The Harmony Boys adopted the Lekan Salami stadium as home venue at the first stanza of the season and the Akure Township stadium as home venue at the second stanza of the league.
Kwara United finished the season in eighth position in Group A ahead of relegated Nasarawa United and El-Kanemi Warriors.
By – Adeyemi Adewale