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Nigeria Masterweb News Report

    All-Africa Games Stadium Collapses Killing 3 Workers

    (Thursday, April 4, 2002)

    By Chief Charles O. Okereke, Nigeria Masterweb

    Abuja All-Africa Games Stadium The velodrome site of Abuja All-Africa Games Stadium collapsed Wednesday killing three constrution workers. The incident was confirmed by Victor Iroele, spokesman for the sports minister, at a news briefing. The eight All-Africa Games is scheduled for the stadium in October 2003. The Abuja African landmark includes a 60,000-capacity stadium, an indoor sports hall, and an ultra-modern games village. It is located on the outskirts of the capital city, along the road to Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport. The Games Village of the stadium complex is for the housing of athletes and officials for scheduled Games and activities. The stadium, fashioned after the Daimler Stadium in Stuttgart, Germany, is to be completed in January 2003, at a total cost of 38 billion naira(aproximately $320 million).

    President Obasanjo on September 7, 2000, laid the foundation stone of the stadium project, in midst of criticisms from across the nation. Many wondered on the justification of the 'elephant' project with social problems such as unemployment and ethnic voilence plaquing the country. Sports ethusiasts were also among the critics. They disagreed among other things, the enermous amount of money involved and the capacity of the proposed stadium. Sports commentator Ikeddy Isiguzo contributing his quota in the critisms said, "The world no longer builds 60,000-capacity stadia. It is out-dated. We have no business building that kind of stadium for that much".

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