Co-chairman of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the 2016 CAF Beach Nations Cup, Dr. Kweku Tandoh, has disclosed that the goal behind Lagos State Government’s hosting of the tournament is to help the Nigerian Super Sand Eagles qualify for the 2017 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in the Bahamas.
“We are not just hosting Africa, but will be out to help motivate and encourage the Nigerian team to pick the ticket to play in the Beach Soccer Mundial in the Bahamas in 2017.”
Tandoh, a former secretary of the LOC for the 2012 National Sports Festival, Eko 2012, expressed his delight at the turn out of spectators at the continental soccer fiesta holding at the EKO Atlantic City, Victoria Island.
He noted that as the competition progresses, the spectator stands will be filled to capacity.
“We have been having the stands filled up since the kick-off of the tournament on Tuesday despite the fact that it was on a working day. More importantly, I am happy CAF officials are impressed with the facilities, logistics and other things we have put in place for the success of the competition. I am sure that gradually everything will fall into place. I look forward to better things ahead as we progress in the tournament.
“We also have a tourism package for the players and officials on Friday which is a match-free day. They will be taken on a bus tour and boat cruise across Lagos.”
Tandoh noted that security measures put in place at the tournament venue has been very impressive. “So also is what the Medical Committee, the Ceremonial and Volunteers have been doing. In terms of the logistics, I think we have done very well and we are going to sustain this.
He stressed that, to give the event a further boost in the area of entertainment, CAF has instructed a fusion of the Lagos entertainment group which presented the Eyo masquerade dance and others with the official cheer leaders from the Bahamas. They have asked that they rehearse and perform together for a better joint entertainment.
Meanwhile, Super Sand Eagles started their campaign at the 2016 Beach Soccer Africa Cup of Nations with a 3-2 win over Egypt in a tight contest on Tuesday.
A goal from Sand Eagles captain Isiaka Olawale and Emeka Ogbonna’s double strike gave the hosts a win on the opening day of the tournament with Mohamed and Ahmed Abouserei scoring for Egypt.
Olawale put Nigeria ahead before Ogbonna got the first of his two goals as Audu Adamu’s men look well on the way to a victory. But the Egyptians clawed their way back into the contest with goals from Mohamed and Abouserei.