The Minister for Youths and Sports Development, Hon. Sunday Dare, has said that the renovation of the Obafemi Awolowo stadium Ibadan remains top on his agenda, with a view to returning the stadium to its former glorious position.
The Minister said this during an official visit to the stadium in Oyo state on Sunday. Hon. Dare promised ensure that the stadium returns to hosting national and international sports events as it did in the past, while adding that part of his administration’s focus is to upgrade and manage all Federal Government owned sports facilities through private and public partnership.
It would be recalled that the stadium, which was opened in 1960, had hosted various continental and world sporting events, notable among them are the first ever boxing world title fight in Africa for the Middleweight Championship of the World belt between Nigeria’s own Dick Tiger and Gene Fullmer of the USA on the 10th of August, 1963, the African Cup of Nations in1980, where the stadium hosted several matches including a semi-final between Algeria and Egypt and the FIFA World Youth Championship.
In 1999, where the he stadium hosted all of the Group C matches, one of the Round of 16 matches, and one of the quarter-final matches, among other events.
While on the visit, the Minister also pledged to ensure that Nigerian athletes’ welfare is top priority before and during competitions.
The Minister’s visit to Ibadan comes as part of his familiarization tour for the inspection of all Federal Government owned stadia in the country