Lagos State Government has concluded plans to hosting an unprecedented Africa Beach Soccer Cup of Nations.
At a press conference to herald the competition, the state’s Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Steve Ayorinde, said hosting the competition is aimed at projecting Lagos positively to the world.
“Sport is paramount in the activities of the state and we believe this championship is a good platform to showcase the best of what Lagos can offer in terms of culture and entertainment,” he said.
In his address, the Special Adviser to the governor on Sports and Chairman of Lagos State Sports Commission, Deji Tinubu, revealed that Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, is keen about sports and is determined to make the state the hub of sports in Africa.
“Our job was made easy by the governor, who is a sport lover. He is very conscious about youth development in Lagos state through sports. So we decided to embark on various sporting activities to prevent the youth from social vices. For the Beach Soccer, there are provisions for engaging the fans,” said Tinubu.
Tinubu said the government is working with the Nigeria Football Federation and the Local Organising Committee to stage a hitch-free championship. “We want people to see and to say positive things about our country. We see no reason why Nigeria cannot host the Beach Soccer World Cup. We have also made plans for shuttle buses to convey fans to the arena. We are also working closely with the Local Organizing Committee for a commendable opening and closing ceremonies,” Tinubu said.
In his reaction, NFF Ist Vice-president, Seyi Akinwunmi, promises a ‘world-class’ beach soccer event.
“We are committed to hosting the best –ever CAF Beach Soccer Championship. Our tenure is on putting up a world-class event, and we believe that with the support we have received and still receiving from the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports, the NFF, the Lagos state government, we will deliver,” Akinwunmi said.
The championship will determine the best beach soccer nation in Africa and doubles as a qualification event for the 2017 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup billed for the Bahamas.
Nigeria is zoned in Group A alongside Ghana, Egypt and Cote d’Ivoire while Group B has Madagascar, Libya, Morocco and Senegal.
The competition is slated between December 13 and 18 at the Eko Atlantic City, Lagos Island.