FILE PHOTO: Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium

Enugu State Government has commenced the maintenance of facilities at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, the Commissioner for Youths and Sport, Manfred Nzekwe, has said.

Nzekwe said this on Tuesday, during an interactive session with newsmen in Enugu, adding that serious work was ongoing at the stadium turf.

He said that the artificial turf had not received any serious work since it was installed in 2009.

He said that the maintenance of the turf was being handled by Reform Sports West Africa Ltd, which installed it, hoping the company would ensure the facility retained its quality.

The company’s Technical Director, Peter Ajila, gave the assurance that the turf would wear a new look on completion of the job.

“At the end of the work, players will be comfortable on the pitch because the ball movement will be direct and precise,” Ajila said.

He advised the government to always subject the pitch to examination every six months, in addition to regular maintenance.

The company’s Architect, Mr Ismaila Muhammed, said they were making effort to make the pitch level.

“Due to rainfall, the granules moved toward one side of the pitch which hampers free ball movement.

“We are brushing the pitch at the moment and after that, we will fix it back and that will bring it back to standard.

“There will be free flow of games after the work so I am optimistic of achieving 99 per cent success of a standard turf.

“What artificial turf needs is constant maintenance. Playing on it without maintenance does not help the turf,” Muhammed said.

The stadium was one of the stadiums approved by the League Management Company for maintenance, repair and upgrade in the country.