EXCLUSIVE! Abuja Stadium pitch can’t host international match till 2022 – experts

This is a Gardner attending to the Pure Dynasty Seeded Paspalum at the MKO Stadium Abuja at the weekend Photo: Harry Awurumibe

By Harry Awurumibe, Editor, Abuja Bureau

In spite of wearing a new look, thanks to
the renovation works still on-going at the magnificent football complex, the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja main bowl will not host any football match of any nature until 2022.

Prompt News has exclusively gathered that the new grass species planted in the main pitch after the old type of grasses were excavated will take, at least, six months to be properly rooted and the pitch well manicured for football activities.

This is even as a visit to the mainbowl at the weekend to get first hand information on the readiness of the pitch to host international matches revealed that the new grass species named Pure Dynasty, seeded species Paspalum, will not be matured enough to host football matches this year.

An arborist or horticulturist involved in the planting of the Pure Dynasty Seeded Paspalum at the stadium showed our reporter how the new grass species are growing slowly but steadily under strict supervision to understand how it will withstand Nigeria’s climatic conditions.

According to the turf expert who preferred anonymity, “the new grass species
(Pure Dynasty Seeded Paspalum) will need months to be ready. There will be no football activities on the pitch for the rest of 2021. The earliest we allow for the first football game on the new pitch will be February or March 2022″.

However, Prompt News confirm that the new grass species Pure Dynasty Seeded Paspalum is the newest and best seeded seashore Paspalum in the market. This variety of seeded seashore Paspalum was developed by Pure-Seed Testing.

Said the expert: “Nigerians will be better for it when the pitch is approved for use because as the first seeded Paspalum blend, Pure Dynasty’s breeding objectives included faster germination/ establishment, a tighter density, better disease resistance,
excellent wear tolerance, improved spring green-up and stronger overall performance”, he concluded.

Prompt News reports that one of Pure Dynasty’s genetic parents include Platinum TE, Paspalum selected as exclusive turfgrass for 2022 FIFA World Club in Qatar just as it shares the benefits of vegetative paspalum such as salt tolerance when mature, quick recovery, dark green color and an upright growth habit for excellent playability.

It is also the best for Abuja stadium for its durability and maximum flexibility of mowing heights even as it meets the needs of most sports field applications and is suited for golf courses wall-to-wall.

With growing weight of 1.6 lbs and dimensions of 4 × 4 × 10 inch, Pure Dynasty like Platinum TE, are used in some of the best stadiums seen mostly in the countries of the Middle East, North America and European nations like United Arab Emirates, Spain and United States of America (USA).

Introduced in 2007 by notable plant scientist Dr. Ron R. Duncan, Platinum TE Paspalum like Pure Dynasty Seeded Paspalum features characteristics sought out for championship quality sports facilities, including athletic fields and golf courses.

They are the turfgrass of choices at over 150 projects around the world including Soccer, Baseball, Rugby, and American football facilities and golf courses at every level of play.

The Abuja National Stadium renamed MKO Abiola Stadium has not hosted any football event in as many years as the stadium complex which was built at a whopping $360m to host the African Games in 2003.

The stadium deteriorated badly until the incumbent Sports Minister, Sunday Dare through his novel Adopt-A-Pitch Policy got business moguls, Alhaji Aliko Dangote and Sir Kessington Adebutu aka Baba Ijebu to agree to carry out renovation works at the main bowl pitches of MKO Abiola Stadium and Surulere National Stadium, Lagos.

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