If the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) wants to see the best of the Super Eagles, it should take the senior national team’s games to Mobolaji Johnson Arena, former First Bank midfielder, Belock Zuokemefa, has said.
Blaming Super Eagles’ recent poor run at the MKO Abiola Stadium, Abuja, on the turf that is not close to what they are used to out in Europe, Zuokemefa said: “The Lagos State government has upgraded the Mobolaji Johnson Arena (Onikan waterfront). Yes, it is a compact arena, but it has one of the best pitches in the country at the moment.
“The pitch is a hybrid synthetic turf approved by FIFA/CAF for professional games, which our boys will be quite comfortable playing on. It is not a 100 per cent rubber/artificial turf pitch that is associated with turf toe injuries and over heating. That point needs to be emphasised. We must learn to make use of the very best of whatever we have as a country. If Eagles are taken there in September, we will see Osimhen and co doing for Nigeria what they do for their clubs in Europe,” Zuekemefa said.
The Guardian recalls that coaches and players from different parts of Africa praised the Onikan turf during the Aisha Buhari tournament, with South Africa’s coach describing it as the best playing surface in Nigeria.
The Mobolaji Johnson Arena has since after the tournament been largely underutilised, but Kwara United recently used it to prosecute their CAF continental games.