Nigeria To Get First VAR Stadium - The New Dawn Online News - THE NEW DAWN ONLINE


Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Nigeria To Get First VAR Stadium - The New Dawn Online News

The Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City will become the first stadium to have a Video Assisted Referee technology (VAR) facilities in Nigeria. This was disclosed by the Edo State Deputy Governor, Mr Philip Shuaibu.

According to the number the two man in Edo State, installing the VAR facilities at the stadium is part of their efforts to get the stadium ready for the 2020 National Sports Festival, coming up at the stadium popularly called Ogbe Stadium.

Edo state last hosted the National Sports Festival at the same sports arena in 2000 and the stadium was renovated then, but not to international standard.

Mr Shuaibu further disclosed that twenty mini stadia will be constructed across the sports loving state, as part of their adminstration's efforts to develop sports from the grassroots.

However, before the VAR facilities will become fully operational for the first time in Nigeria, a committee from the International Football Federation Board (IFAB) will still need visit Benin City to check the VAR set-up at the Ogbe Stadium.

Also, the 20,000 capacity stadium will need an assessment and approval from FIFA experts, before the technology will be used.

The Video Assisted Referee was used at this year's AFCON 2019 in Egypt from the quarter-final stages. However, Morocco made history last month becoming the first African country where VAR technology was used in its League match.

The Ogbe Stadium
Governor Obaseki-led administration began the reconstruction of the stadium in 2018 and holistically renovated the entire stadium.

The New Ogbe Stadium

Earlier this year, a new natural grass was laid to replace the synthetic grass on the pitch and a fantastic canopy cover like that of the Next of Champions Stadium, in Uyo, now adorn the stadium. The sports arena's old seats have been replaced with modern seats, and its tartan tracks and offices modernised.

Other new facilities installed at the stadium include a specially-built press gallery, modern dressing rooms, as well as better lightening system and a score board at the main bowl. The gymnasium and the lawn tennis courts have equally been upgraded to international standards.

In addition, the Ogbe Stadium mainbowl now boasts of FIFA required facilities like the Surveillance Monitoring and Standard Studio that will make it easier to relay live matches across the world.

Meanwhile, with the complete renovation of the Ogbe Stadium, it can only be matched in Nigeria by the MKO Abiola Stadium, Abuja and the Next of Champions Stadium in Uyo.

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