Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Charles Udoh, insisted on Tuesday that the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) should apologise to the government and people of the state, if reports in the media that Super Eagles next home match has been moved away from Uyo.
Speaking in his office on the reasons advanced for the purported moving of future Super Eagles matches away from Uyo as a result of the recent 2 – 0 loss to the Bafana Bafana of South Africa, Mr. Udoh described them as weak and baseless.
The Commissioner maintained that Eagles had the best of support from the government and people of Akwa Ibom State, and that the NFF should not have contemplated such a move, if at all it did.
According to him, “the 30,000 capacity facility in Uyo remains the best maintained stadium in Nigeria and ranks among the best in the world.”
He stressed that “at no point in time were the Nigerian players booed throughout the duration of the match against South Africa, as would have been the case in other venues.”
On the distance from Le’ Meridien Ibom Hotel to the Stadium, as one of the reasons for the poor result posted by the Eagles, Mr. Udoh said it could not have been, because the Bafana Bafana team was also lodged at the same facility and covered the same distance before the match.
He stated that on the contrary, the Ibom Le’ Meridien Hotel & Golf Resort was a nice environment for good team bonding.
According to Mr. Udoh, “if truly the next Super Eagles Russia 2018 World Cup qualifier against Cameroon, earlier scheduled for Uyo, has been moved to Port Harcourt, as reported by a section of the sporting press, then the NFF would have to apologise to the government and people of Akwa Ibom.”
He recalled that it was at the same stadium in Uyo that the Super Eagles played brilliant football and defeated the Fennecs of Algeria, stressing that the support from football fans at the magnificent stadium has always been massive.
The Information Commissioner emphasised that instead of throwing blames in the wrong direction, the NFF should critically analyse the last match, with a view to identifying lapses and make adequate preparations for the next matches.
However, feelers from NFF’s Glass House in Abuja revealed that no decision has been taken on moving the Nigeria versus Cameroon World Cup qualifier from Uyo to Port Harcourt.
“I don’t know where the story of moving Super Eagles match against Cameroon from Uyo coming from. This is news to me. As far as we are concerned no decision has been taken to move the match from Uyo,” a top level NFF official told THISDAY last night.