Many may wonder the reason one stadium, which has hosted just two continental games in its history of existence, has been chosen to host the biggest football event in Africa.
Since the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Confederations Cup qualifying game between Akwa United and Al Hilal of Sudan, the Nest of Champions has hosted just one other continental game which was Akwa United’s Champions League game against RD Beluizdad of Algeria.
The Promise Keepers where eliminated and hence the stadium could not host continental games any longer.
CAF hand-picked the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium to host the 2022 CAF Champions League finals after its delegates approved the sporting complex.
But what are the main features of this complex?
It is an International Facility:
Over the years, the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium has hosted several international matches as the home ground of the Nigeria National team, the Super Eagles.
Notable top matches include when Nigeria hosted the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon, the Algerian National team, and when the Super Eagles selected side hosted Atletico Madrid. The complex was praised by top stars, as well as Atletico coach, Diego Simeone.
One of the Best Playing Turf:
With its natural grass surface, the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium is blessed with one of the best playing turfs in world Football.
Many believed that the standard of the pitch is likened to those in Europe.
The pitch size, which is of international standard, is an added advantage to both players and officials.
Quality Training Pitch:
The training pitch at the Stadium is synonymous to that of the main playing pitch.
Many would wonder why it is called an International Stadium but this will certainly be an answer to that question.
It’s training facility is handled and maintained by the best hands; commendation can be ascribed to the Akwa Ibom State Government for that.
The training pitch is well dressed and handled with utmost care regardless of how often it is being used by Akwa United.
The Overall Look:
The overall look of the Stadium is likened to the Allianz Arena Stadium of Germany.
It’s view from the outside would make one wonder if they were in Germany or Nigeria. Those who have been to the Bayern Munich stadium can tell.
It has the best of a secured atmosphere and does not give fans easy entrance into the pitch.
The players are made to stay more than 20 metres away from the fans and the fans cannot access the pitch unless allowed by the officials.
The football complex is blessed with an official 30,000 capacity. It can accommodate more in terms of emergency.
More than 40,000 fans attended it’s opening ceremony. This means the stadium has more space for supporters, who are unable to find a seat stand with utmost relaxation, to watch a match for its entire duration.
These qualities make the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium distinctively different from many other stadia in the country.
The finals of the CAF Champions league will be played on Sunday, May 29th 2022, in Uyo – Akwa Ibom State Capital, Nigeria.