Bayelsa State Government has denied media reports that the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has banished its darling team, Bayelsa United out of their Yenagoa home ahead of their all-important second round clash against top Tunisian side, SS Sfaxien in the ongoing CAF Confederation Cup.
The reports had disclosed that CAF took the decision following poor technical report on the Samson Siasia Stadium after Bayelsa United’s 4-2 home victory last weekend against their Guinean first round opponents.
But the State Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Daniel Igali, said in a statement on Friday, September 24, that the report was misleading, false and the handwork of a mischievous and desperate contractor, who is trying hard to blackmail the government.
The statement reads: “Our attention has been drawn to reports in some section of the media on a purported ban of the football pitch of the Samson Siasia Stadium, Yenagoa by Confederation of African Football (CAF) ahead of the next home game of Bayelsa United against CS Sfaxien of Tunisia.
“The report, which appeared to have been sponsored in various newspapers is not only false, and misleading, it is an attempt to blackmail the Bayelsa State Government into awarding maintenance contract of the pitch to a certain contractor.
“It is wicked and disappointing that people who have benefited so much from the State Government would put up such a show of shame just to discredit and sabotage their own state.
“It is good to put on record that a team from CAF is currently in Yenagoa to inspect the facilities and so far, they have been impressed by what is on ground, including the recent upgrade before the Confederation cup game between Bayelsa United and AS Ashanti of Guinea.
“As a Ministry, we are confident that the next home game involving Bayelsa United will be played here. The report is mischievous, concocted and hatched to favour a particular contractor who missed out in the recent renovation and pitch maintenance.
“While it was alleged in the report that CAF has banned the pitch, it is curious in another breath in the story that Bayelsa Government could quickly work on the stadium if it is to host the next game.
“The renovation of the stadium facilities which began under the Sylva administration has gulped well over one billion naira by the main contractor and the job still not completed after 10 years.
“As a Ministry, we have reviewed the development and decided to put a stop to the drama around this unending stadium contract under three different administrations in Bayelsa State”.