The Lagos and Edo state governors are in full support and ready to stage a hitch-free women’s tournament next year
Lagos governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his Edo counterpart Godwin Obaseki offered their full support to Nigeria’s bid to host the 2020 U20 Women’s World Cup.
Lagos, Benin are among the four host cities considered in the country’s proposed bid for the women’s tournament billed for the summer of 2020 after Uyo and Asaba.
Heyral Kaj led a five-man team, including Christopher Exley, Sara Jane Booth, Kliment Taseski, Rhiannon Ceirwen Martin to Nigeria for an inspection from the Fifa headquarters in Zurich.
Having completed facilities tour in Lagos, the inspection team – alongside the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) officials – paid a courtesy call to the state governor at his office on Tuesday.
“Lagos is a whole lot of energy, with a lot of very resourceful, hospitable and dynamic people, who understand and appreciate the issues around hospitality,” Sanwo-Olu told the media.
“It is a state with a population that has a lot of diversity. We are very excited that Fifa is considering hosting one of its very important tournaments, the U-20 Women World Cup, in Nigeria. By implication, Lagos is one of the host cities of this fiesta.
“We understand there will be a few concerns. As a government, we will give our assurances on all things required to make the event successful. We will ensure adequate security for all participants.
“We will also be supporting NFF and Fifa to ensure seamless transportation, accommodation and crowd management. We will do whatever would create an enduring experience for the visitors coming to the Fifa events.”
On the same day, the Fifa officials met Edo state governor Obaseki after their routine facilities inspection in Benin, where Nigeria qualified for the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in France.
“We take sports seriously in this state because 72 percent of our population are under 30 years of age, and that is why we are building 20 mini-stadia across the state,” Obaseki told the media.
“Therefore, four of these mini-stadia can be used as practice fields for the Under-20 Women’s World Cup. The Benin Specialist Hospital will also provide the needed medical services, while there are enough accommodation facilities in the state.’’
Meanwhile, the Fifa team will continue their inspection tour on Wednesday as they visit Asaba and Uyo respectively before heading back to Abuja.
Nigeria’s bid to host the U20 Women’s World Cup is gaining huge support, especially with the backing of the governors.
The success of the hosting right bid will see the West African nation become the first country to stage a Fifa-organised women’s championship in Africa.
Fifa is expected to officially announce the hosts in coming weeks.