NPFL Stadium ban: Abia Warriors make assurance of pitch upgrade before commencement of league's second stanza

Posted : 30 January 2024

The Chairman of Abia Warriors FC, Coach John Obu, has assured the team's fans and supporters that Abia Warriors FC will continue to play their matches at their home ground, Umuahia Township Stadium. Speaking about the state of the Umuahia Stadium in light of the recent NPFL pronouncement banning the Umuahia-based team from using the stadium for the second stanza of the league, Coach Obu stated that they are addressing the areas of deficiencies.


The former U-17 & U-20 Head Coach mentioned, “We have done a lot of work on the pitch since we received the NPFL directives. We have improved the state of the pitch, and it will be suitable to host matches as soon as the league resumes.”


Providing background information on the NPFL's decision to banish his team, Coach Obu, who guided the Golden Eagles to win the silver medal at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2009, explained, “This issue started when we went for the draws of the league. The management of the League body called me and said they would not approve the Umuahia stadium for us unless we improved certain things. We worked on this, and after the inspection, the team that came gave us a thumbs up and encouraged us to improve on the seating arrangements and the entrance.


“It is baffling that before the first stanza of the league could end, the NPFL came up with that directive. The annoying aspect is that they base their claims on what they read on social media or what the teams said. None of the NPFL bosses have visited the stadium to see things themselves. Even with what we are doing now, nobody gave directives on where to improve.


“It is very disheartening that only when teams come to Umuahia and get beaten that they realize the pitch is bad. But you hardly hear comments from those who got positive results from the pitch. We have the worst astro turf pitches that teams are using for matches, and no one is looking at that. Everyone is interested in killing the grass pitches.”


Coach Obu insisted that they will put the pitch in better shape before the commencement of the second stanza of the NPFL season. “Before then, we intend to conduct a media tour of the stadium and invite the leadership of the NPFL to come for a first-hand inspection before the resumption of the league,” he concluded.


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