CAF's recent communication has drawn the attention of many Nigerians and football lovers in Africa. It informed the Confederation of African Football's (CAF) decision on the stadiums fit enough to host CAF AFCON 2023 qualifiers for Matchday 5.
The communication, containing a list, is of particular concern to football fans in Nigeria because it includes just one stadium. It is disappointing for a country with an estimated 220 million people and lots of human and capital investment. However, it proves the government has failed to invest in maintaining and developing sporting facilities.
CAF has approved ONLY Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo for the AFCON qualifiers in June.
Abuja Stadium not up to CAF standard.
As it stands, Nigeria has only ONE stadium fit enough to host Elite CAF/FIFA games. pic.twitter.com/kZSh54tyyK
— Bassey Ibiatisuho (@realbassey101) May 15, 2023
An official communication, sent out on Monday by CAF, said: “List of CAF pre-approved stadiums for the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations Cote D'Ivoire 2023 group stage qualifiers Matchday 5.” CAF outlined home stadiums where national teams could play their qualifying matches.
Mobolaji Johnson Football Arena Lagos was not approved by CAF for the African Nations cup qualifiers games in Nigeria because the stadium still has structural uncompleted section. pic.twitter.com/wopT5U1VMb
— Monimichelle (@Monimichelle2) May 17, 2023
What This Means For Nigeria Super Eagles
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has confirmed that only the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo can host the Nigeria Super Eagles' 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier next month (June).
In the AFCON 2023 qualifiers, Nigeria has played two of their three home games at the Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja, where they locked horns with Sierra Leone and Guinea-Bissau. The Super Eagles beat Sierra Leone 2-1 in their first home game of the AFCON 2023 qualifiers at the Moshood Abiola Stadium before losing 1-0 to Guinea-Bissau in their second qualifier.
Next month, June, will see a continuation of the 2023 AFCON qualifying scheduled from January 13 to February 11, 2024, in Cote D'Ivoire.
The Super Eagles' next game in the qualifiers is an away clash against the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone on June 12. The game will be staged at a neutral venue since Sierra Leone does not have an approved stadium by CAF.
With nine points, the Jose Peseiro-led Super Eagles top the Group A standings of the 2023 AFCON qualifiers. A draw will ensure qualification for AFCON 2024, which will be staged in Cote D'Ivoire.
The Super Eagles will host Sao Tome and Principe in their final match of the qualifiers on September 4, 2023. This match will take place at the only approved Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
Countries With Two or More CAF-Approved Stadiums
Below are the countries CAF granted permission to use any of its approved stadiums for their home qualifier(s).
South Africa – Seven stadiums, the most by any country.
Algeria – Five stadiums
Egypt – Five stadiums
Morocco – Five stadiums
Cameroon – Three stadiums
Equatorial Guinea – Three stadiums
Ghana – Two stadiums
Cote D'Ivoire – Two stadiums
The above shows North Africans have invested more in developing and maintaining their sporting facilities.
This article was most recently revised and updated 2 weeks ago