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Nigeria’s prospect of hosting U20 Women World Cup excites FG—Osinbajo

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By Chijioke Okoronkwo

Abuja, Aug. 8, 2019 Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said that the federal government was excited about the prospect of Nigeria hosting the next FIFA U-20 Women World Cup in 2020.

Osinbajo, who communicated this while receiving a delegation of FIFA Inspection Team, said that that the federal government was actively supporting the bid of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), to host the competition.

The vice president told the delegation that Nigeria had participated in all FIFA’s female competitions and that the country had the number to effectively host the sporting event next year.

Osinbajo added that the federal government was interested in the business of hosting the sporting event, satisfying the needs of the people who had over the years, demonstrated uncommon love for football.

“Going round this country you will have noticed that practically every Nigerian is a football fan.

”We are excited about the prospect of hosting the competition; the federal government is backing Nigeria’s bid fully and we are prepared to do all that is required for the adequate comfort of our guests and fans.

“Nigeria’s love for football is a mark of well-being, and it is also culturally important to us. It is a unifying force for the people.

”We politicians don’t even compete with footballers; they are far more famous than us,” he said.

Earlier, the head of the FIFA Inspection Team, Mr Kaj Heyral, said that the team was impressed with the facilities it had seen and expressed appreciation for the hospitality shown by Nigeria during their two-week stay.

NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, told State House correspondents after the meeting, that the delegation briefed the vice president on the facility tour, with respect to the bid.

He said that the delegation inspected six stadia, 13 training sites, nine hospitals and no fewer than 10 hotels.

Pinnick said that members of the delegation openly said that they were very impressed with what they have seen.

”We are also trying to push the narrative about Nigeria being a very safe country, being hospitable, being the best economy in Africa.

“You know once this bid is granted, FIFA is going to invest millions upon millions of dollars.

“They are paying for the air tickets; they are paying for all the hotels; it is a huge for us and as a country we think that this is a platform in which we want to rebuild our Super Falcons.

“They have dominated Africa; they have done well in the world; but we believe we can now push them; we have played finals twice in this category.

“We want to lift this trophy and hand it over to the president as a gift to the president for supporting us; so, we are going to throw everything into the ring to ensure that we achieve that for him.’’

He said that emphasis was being placed on transparency and probity.

The NFF boss said that there was harmony in the bid, as everything was about the about the future of Nigerian football.

“It is about the future of our youths; it is about the future of our female players.

“Only few days ago, Asisat Oshoala bought a massive building for her parents; adding value to the economy.

“Oshoala was discovered from the U-20 so if we organise it properly, we can have more Oshoalas, more Ajibades, and more Oparanozies.

“Oparanozie for example, owns an NGO that empowers some youths in certain areas,” he said.

The decision on Nigeria’s bid to host the event will be taken in September.

 

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