The Lagos State Sports Commission (LSSC) led by the Executive Chairman, Kweku Tandoh, on Tuesday said the state was ready to host FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup 2020.
Tandoh made the assertion on the sidelines of the four-day inspection of facilities and equipment by a FIFA inspection team based on the expression of Nigeria’s bid to host the 10th FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Nigeria had put in a bid to host the 10th FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup championship scheduled for 2020.
However, following the bid, a FIFA five-man inspection team is in the country to supervise Nigeria’s expression of interest to host the age-grade 16-nation championship.
On the state’s readiness, LSSC Chairman told NAN that the state was fully prepared to host the tournament with its updated existing facilities which were in tune with FIFA’s requirements.
“The newly reconstructed Onikan Stadium will be ready before the tournament, we have put in a lot of efforts in this; the contractor handling the project has assured of its readiness.
“Lagos has enough facilities up to standard to host any FIFA tournament even up to the World Cup. We can even have all the four centres for the Women World Cup if given permission.
“We will do our best to make sure that the facilities are fixed before the tournament starts next year, we have more than enough because of the sports culture we have had.
“The hosting of the tournament is in line with the vision of the Lagos State Governor, His Excellency, Babajide Sanwo-Olu to improve the economy of the state through sports and entertainment.
“The bid has a lot of positives aside from the sport side of it which includes the economic benefits, there will be lots of economic advantages,’’ he said.
Also, The President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, said he was optimistic of Nigeria’s bid sailing through having met the required standards.
“We know what is required of us as a country to host the tournament, and we have fulfilled all of them. Lagos is good to go in terms of the requirement.
“All the facilities are FIFA standards not minding that the conditions for hosting have been relaxed for now, so we have met all the requirements expected of us.
“The only grey areas we have will be sorted out before the tournament starts proper, because it is like a facility that has not been put to optimum use before.
“Other things will measure up such as paintings and putting necessary touches to the facilities, we are not new to hosting world tournaments,’’ he said.
NAN reports that the FIFA inspection team had earlier visited the newly reconstructed Onikan Stadium, a match venue, Campos Square Mini Stadium, Eagle Club and St. Nicholas Hospital.
The contingent also visited the Teslim Balogun Stadium, another proposed match venue, National Stadium Legacy Pitch for training and the University of Lagos Sports Centre, also for training.
On the FIFA inspection team are Christopher Exley, Sara Jane Booth, Kliment Taseski, Rhiannon Ceirwen Martin and Heyral Kaj Jurgen.
Among the team for the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) are the President, Amaju Pinnick, 1st Vice-President, Seyi Akinwunmi, and NFF Executive Committee member and Chairman of the Nigeria Women Football League, Aisha Falode.
The team was hosted by the top officials of the Lagos State Sports Commission (LSSC) led by the Executive Chairman, Kweku Tandoh and the Director-General Oluwatoyin Gafar.
The FIFA team will later pay a courtesy visit to the Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu at the Government House in Alausa before departing to Benin to inspect the refurbished Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium and visit Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo. (NAN)