U-20 WOMEN’S WORLD CUP: FIFA Inspection Team to Arrive Nigeria Today


Olawale Ajimotokan

Nigeria’s bid to host the 10th FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup tournament scheduled to hold next year will begin with the arrival of a five-man inspection team from world-football governing body, FIFA, to Lagos today.

The team is on a four-day mission to inspect the facilities and equipment that Nigeria has put forward to host the world next year.

According to NFF’s Director of Communications, Ademola Olajire, the inspection team is made up of the following officials: Christopher Exley, Sara Jane Booth, Kliment Taseski, Rhiannon Ceirwen Martin and Heyral Kaj Jurgen who will arrive at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport  this evening.

They are to be received by President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Mr. Amaju Melvin Pinnick, NFF 1st Vice President, Mr Seyi Akinwunmi, NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, NFF Executive Committee member and Chairman of the Nigeria Women Football League Aisha Falode and top officials of the Lagos State Sports Commission led by the Executive Chairman, Dr. Kweku Tandoh.

Nigeria has put forward the cities of Lagos, Benin City, Asaba and Uyo for the hosting of the 16-nation finals.

The inspection team will begin its work in Lagos with visits to the Onikan Stadium (match venue), St. Nicholas Hospital and Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (referral hospitals), Teslim Balogun Stadium, National Stadium Legacy Pitch, Eagle Club, Campos Square and the University of Lagos Sports Centre (training sites), before a courtesy call on Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu at the Government House in Alausa.

Joined by NFF President Pinnick, General Secretary Sanusi, Alh. Mainasara Illo (Coordinator of the Bid), Falode, Commissioner of Police Garba Baba (security) and Dr. Paul Onyeudo (medical), the team will fly to Benin City same day to inspect facilities at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium (match venue), Western Boys College and University of Benin Sports Centre (training sites) and the Edo Specialist Hospital and University of Benin Teaching Hospital (referral hospitals).

The contingent will check out the facilities in Asaba and Uyo on Wednesday.

In Asaba, the Stephen Keshi Stadium is the proposed match venue, while training sites are Asaba Squash Courts and St. Patrick’s College. The referral hospitals are St. Luke’s Hospital and Asaba General Hospital.

In Uyo, the focus will be on the Godswill Akpabio Stadium (match venue), Ikot Ekpene Stadium and Godswill Akpabio Training Pitch (training sites) and Ibom Specialist Hospital and University of Uyo Teaching Hospital (referral hospitals).

The inspection party will then fly to Abuja on Thursday for a meeting with the Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports, Mr. Olusade Adesola (representing the Honourable Minister) and a courtesy call on His Excellency, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa.

Nigeria is one of only four countries to have participated in every edition of the FIFA U-20 Women’s Cup since the competition was launched in 2002 in Canada as an U-19 Championship. It was upgraded to U-20 competition in 2008. USA, Germany and Brazil are the other three ever-present teams.

The Falconets reached the Final of the competition in 2010 and 2014, losing to Germany on both occasions, and were semi finalists in Japan in 2012.