Sports minister, Barrister Solomon Dalung is keeping Abuja National Stadium in view to host the Super Eagles’ May 28 international friendly against DR Congo, because he says the game is meant to be a symbolic send forth for the Nigerian team to the World Cup.
Based on the emotional attachment he has for the game, which is expected to have President Muhammadu Buhari as special guest of honour, Dalung says renovation has been intensified to put the Abuja Stadium pitch into proper shape.
Although he acknowledged that Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) have already gone ahead to get Adokie Amasiamaka Stadium, Port Harcourt to host the game, Dalung stressed that Abuja remains top priority for him.
Speaking with media after the opening ceremony of grassroots sports festival in Abuja on Monday, Dalung said the idea to play the match in Abuja was to bid the team farewell and have President Buhari to attend.
Dalung further stressed that the May 28 game would only be played at Adokie Amasiamaka Stadium, Port Harcourt if Abuja National Stadium is not ready.
This comes after NFF president, Amaju Pinnick last week declared that the match will take place in The Garden City, after he inspected the arena with Eagles coach Gernot Rohr and later met with Rivers State governor, Nyisom Wike.
Though Governor Wike has already accepted to host the match, Dalung said: “We are looking at Port Harcourt if by then we are unable to complete work at the stadium here in Abuja.
“As you can see here work has gone far. Port Harcourt remains our Plan B to host the farewell game. The idea is for the players to mop up the blessings and prayers of Nigerians.”