Lekan Salami Stadium @ 32 | Tosin Omojola
Today, May 28, 2020, makes it 32 years, that the home ground of Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) of Ibadan, was officially commissioned.
The official commissioning of the 10,000 capacity stadium complex,was done by the then Vice President, Augustus Aikhomu, on May 28, 1988.
Otherwise called the Adamasingba Stadium, the sporting arena, built in 1976, was renamed the Lekan Salami Stadium by the then Oyo State Military Governor, Colonel Ahmed Usman, in honour of the late Chief Lekan Salami.
Mike Odu, then of El Kanemi Warriors of Maiduguri, became the first player to score at the stadium, as his solitary strike earned his team a 1-0 win over Shooting Stars, in the match organised to open the arena.
Lekan Salami Stadium, has become the traditional home ground of the Oluyole Warriors since then, replacing the Liberty Stadium, renamed the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium.
Apart from league matches involving 3SC and other local football matches such as the Oyo State FA Cup, Governors’ Cup, Secondary School football competitions among others, the arena, has also hosted, sub regional, continental, national and international football competitions.
The final of the 1988 edition of the Nigerian FA Cup (Challenge Cup), between Iwuayanwu Nationale of Owerri, now Heartland and the defunct Flash Flamingos of Benin took place at the stadium, with the Owerri side winning 3-0.
Shooting Stars claimed their second continental title (the maiden edition of the then CAF Cup) donated by the late business mogul, Chief M.K.O Abiola in 1992, at the stadium.
Lekan Salami Stadium hosted the first leg , Italia 90 World Cup qualifier between the Super Eagles and the Indomitable Lions of Cameroun, which the Eagles won by 2-0
Interestingly, Super Eagles’ last friendly match before the team departed the country enroute USA 94 for its maiden World Cup appearance was played at the Lekan Salami Stadium on June 11, 1994.
A brace each from the late Rashidi Yekini, an ex 3SC player (11th and 43rd minutes) and Samson Siasia (58th and 60th minutes) and a goal from Mutiu Adepoju, another ex Shooting Stars player, in the 65th minutes, gave the Eagles a 5-1 win over Georgia.
Apart from football, the Lekan Salami Stadium Complex is also used for other sporting activities such as athletics, basketball, volleyball, boxing and others.
The complex also houses the offices of the Oyo State Sports Council, the Oyo State FA, and other sporting association offices as well as the secretariat of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) Oyo State chapter and that of the Nigeria Football Supporters Club among others.
Inside the premises are shops and relaxation centres.
The complex is fenced by a shopping complex and is surrounded by notable places like the Ibadan Recreation Club, the Ibadan Golf club, as well as popular places like Sabo, Dugbe and Mokola Roundabout.