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National Stadium - Lagos

The National Stadium of Lagos is a stadium built for multiple purposes and is located in Surulere area of the state of Lagos in Nigeria. The stadium comprises of an Olympic-length swimming pool and a multipurpose facility which has been used for basketball, volleyball, table tennis, wrestling and as well as for hosting boxing matches.


The stadium had been actually built specifically for hosting football games and has hosted quite a number of international football games as well.


The stadium is owned and operated by the Government of Nigeria and has a capacity of 45,000. The stadium was also for some time the home for the Rugby Union team Cowrie RFC.


National Stadium Lagos


History


The stadium was constructed for the first time in 1972, during which the stadium had a total capacity of 55,000. The capacity was then reduced to 45,000 in 1999, following renovations that were taking place in the stadium for complying with international standards and for enhancing the infrastructure of the stadium and provide the best of facilities.


The stadium also has the distinction of holding a record attendance of 85,000 which was recorded in the final match of the African Cup of Nations in 1980 between the two African giants, Nigeria and Algeria. The hosts emerged as the champions by beating the Algerian side, 3-0.


For unknown reasons and some undue circumstances, the National Stadium of Lagos has been left to dilapidated and crumble since 2002. The stadium had last hosted a national team game for Nigeria in 2004.


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After the stadium has been abandoned it has been taken over by area boys and squatters, which has emerged as a cause of concern with growing crimes in the city.


The stadium was handed over a reprieve in 2009, when the National Sports Commission announced that they would begin a concerted effort and take steps to bring the stadium back to world-class status and bring about life in the sporting culture of Nigeria, which has been for long been on the downhill due to lack of infrastructure and proper facilities.


Major Matches


The stadium has been the host to several international competitions which includes the 1980 African Cup of Nations final between Nigeria and Algeria, the 2000 African Cup of Nations final, and a few FIFA World Cup qualifying matches.


It has also served as the main stadium during the 1973 All-Africa Games, which was hosted by Nigeria. Nigeria finished second just behind table-toppers Egypt.


Controversy


A controversy which has been emerging out is regarding the status of ownership of the stadium. The Central government seems to be in a dilemma of whether or not to transfer the stadium to the Lagos City administration. Meanwhile, the proceedings are on and it remains to be seen whether or not there will be a change in the ownership.

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