- U. J. Esuene Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium in Calabar, Nigeria. It is currently used mostly for football matches and is the home stadium of Calabar Rovers and previously Dolphins F.C. (Port Harcourt). The stadium has a capacity of 16,000 and opened in 1977. It has been short-listed as a stadium for the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup. The U. J. Esuene Stadium was inaugurated on the 2 April 1977 with a match between Benin's Bendel Insurance F.C. and newly-formed Calabar Rovers of Calabar. Two weeks later, the stadium hosted an international encounter between Enugu Rangers and Tonnerre Yaoundé - a game that featured the likes of Roger Milla, Christian Chukwu and Emmanuel Okalla. Built with capacity of 25,000, the stadium was renovated between 1998 and 1999, when its capacity was reduced to 12,000 to host matches at the 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship. A Brazil team including Ronaldinho and eventual winners Spain, who fielded Iker Casillas and Xavi, among others, played there. Games at the 2003 All-Africa Games were also played at the U. J. Esuene Stadium in October 2003, as were Nigeria's qualifiers for the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations. The stadium has been further upgraded to include an ultra modern electronic video-matrix scoreboard, with impressive floodlights. During Nigeria 2009, Calabar hosted games in Group C, which includes Iran, Colombia, the Netherlands and Gambia.
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Akwaete John Udoh