By John Egbokhan
President of the Nigeria Football Federation *NFF), Amamu Pinnick has outlined the reasons Nigeria wants to host next year’s FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.
Five venues in Lagos, Benin City, Asaba and Uyo have been earmarked by the promoters of the bid for the next edition of the premier age-grade tournament for women football, with a team from FIFA visiting the venues last week to inspect the facilities and get government’s assurances before the host nation is announced by the world governing football body.
Having hosted the FIFA U-20 World Cup and its U-17 equivalent in 1999 and 2009 respectively, this present bid represents the third time Nigeria is foraging into the hosting of age-grade competition at the global level.
And enumerating the rationale behind the bid at the weekend, Pinnick said the proposed tournament would allow Nigeria to fast-track the emergence of new football stars in the country.
According to the NFF boss, ‘’the benefits of hosting world-class events and tournaments have been thrashed in a lot of conversations. From the provision of new facilities to the upgrading of existing facilities; both sporting and otherwise, to the massive boost in the local economy. These events also act as windows to the world’’, Pinnck wrote on his twitter handle.
Continuing, the NFF supremo wrote, ‘events like these show the other side of Nigeria to a lot of foreigners who do not see in their news cycles so it is usually a chance to tell our stories to the world, as opposed to the world telling our stories to us.
‘’Then the most important aspect of these competitions, in my point of view, is the emergence of new football stars.
‘’Tournaments like these are fast-track stages for the new Mercy Akide-Udoh, Desire Oparanozie and Asisat Oshoala to announce themselves to the world’’, added the former Delta State Sports Commission Chairman.
He also assured of transparency and accountability in the whole process and organisation of the tournament should Nigeria get FIFA’s nod to host next year’s event, adding that a top brass of anti-corruption agencies like EFCC, ICPC and Police will head the Compliance Committee of Nigeria 2020 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup
‘’’From the start of this process to the end of it, we will be as transparent as we possibly can. Hopefully, with the support of all Nigerians, we will deliver a worthy tournament for our women.’’