The Teslim Balogun and Onikan stadiums in Lagos have been tipped by FIFA to host U-20 Women’s World Cup 2020, which Nigeria is bidding for.
FIFA inspection team member, Sara Booth, gave a hint that the stadiums could be chosen to host the tournament.
She spoke during a four-day inspection of facilities and equipment by a five-man FIFA inspection team in Lagos on Tuesday.
“What we are here to do basically is to inspect the facilities, we know that Nigeria has massive support for football. We are confident. We have visited different hotels, and facilities, because it (hosting the World Cup) involves a lot of processes,” the FIFA official added.
Also, coordinator of the bid for Nigeria’s hosting of the cup, Mainasara Illo, said Lagos venues met up with FIFA’s requirement.
Illo said, “FIFA has about seven to eight conditionality, which must be met before granting the request , which includes availability of venues, capacity to fill the stadium and management of the stadium.
“Others are the readiness of the state to host the competition, how the centres appreciate women football and other facilities such as hospitals and training pitches.
“Lagos is likely to have two centres, one on the Island and another on the Mainland; all the facilities inspected are up to the required standard.”
Apart from the Lagos stadiums, other venues put forward by Nigeria are the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin, Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba and Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo.
When the team visited the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin, the leader of the delegation, Heyral Kaj, said, “We are quite impressed with what we saw here during our short inspection. It’s obvious that the stadium is still under construction.
“I’m quite positive that everything is on plan. I’m basically looking forward to coming to check again in the next few months.”
Meanwhile, Governors of Lagos and Edo States, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Godwin Obaseki respectively expressed readiness to host the competition when they received a joint delegation of Nigeria Football Federation officials and the FIFA inspection team.
Obaseki said the competition’s technological needs, stadiums, accommodation facilities and specialist hospital would be made available.
Sanwo-Olu added, “We are very excited that FIFA is considering hosting one of its very important tournaments, U-20 Women World Cup, in Nigeria. 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.”
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