By Orkula Shaagee, Abuja
A five-man inspection team from world-football governing body, FIFA will arrive in Lagos on Monday for a four-day inspection of facilities and equipment that Nigeria has put forward to host the 10th FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup championship next year.
Christopher Exley, Sara Jane Booth, Kliment Taseski, Rhiannon Ceirwen Martin and Heyral Kaj Jurgen will arrive at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport on Monday evening, to be received by President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Mr.Amaju Melvin Pinnick, NFF 1st Vice President, Barrister 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 on Tuesday, 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, Alhaji 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 (GCON) at the Presidential Villa.
Nigeria is one of only four countries to have participated in every edition of the FIFA U20 Women’s Cup since the competition was launched in 2002 in Canada as an U19 Championship. It was upgraded to U20 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 semifinalists in Japan in 2012.
Morocco, Five others across Three continents to host 2030 World Cup matches
Morocco, Spain and Portugal have been named hosts of the 2030 FIFA World Cup, while Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay will host the opening matches to mark the tournament’s centenary.
World football body FIFA disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday, even though they were due to announce the hosts next year.
The joint bid from Morocco, Portugal and Spain was the sole candidate to host the tournament.
The inaugural World Cup in 1930 was held in Uruguay and won by the hosts.
Wednesday’s decision by FIFA marks the first time the World Cup will be staged across three continents and by six countries.
This may mean the competition’s group matches will have to be held in different seasons based on the hemisphere.
“The FIFA Council unanimously agreed that the sole candidacy will be the combined bid of Morocco, Portugal, and Spain, which will host the event in 2030.
”The hosts will qualify automatically from the existing slot allocation,” FIFA said in a statement.
“Additionally, having taken into account the historical context of the first-ever FIFA World Cup which was held in Uruguay, the FIFA Council further unanimously agreed to host a unique centenary celebration ceremony.
”This will be in the country’s capital, Montevideo…
“This means three World Cup matches will hold in Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay.”
The 2022 World Cup was held in Qatar, and Argentina are the defending champions.
In a reaction, the Argentine Football Association (AFA) said their team “will play the first match of the 2030 group stage at home and with its people”.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino also said: “In a divided world, FIFA and football are uniting.
“The FIFA Council… unanimously agreed to celebrate the centenary of the FIFA World Cup, whose first edition was played in Uruguay in 1930, in the most appropriate way.
“As a result, a celebration will take place in South America and three South American countries —- Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay —- will organise one match each of the FIFA World Cup 2030.”
Infantino said the first of these three matches would be played at Montevideo’s Estadio Centenario, where the first World Cup took place in 1930.
Robert Harrison, the president of the Paraguayan Football Association, said Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay would automatically qualify for the World Cup.
But he did not clarify what that would mean for the South American qualifiers.
While Portugal and Morocco have never hosted the World Cup, Spain last hosted the tournament in 1982.
Pedro Rocha, President of the Management Committee of the Royal Spanish Football Federation, said they were excited to bring it back to the country, who won the World Cup in 2010.
“I am sure that together with Morocco and Portugal we will organise the best World Cup in history,” he said.
Fernando Gomes, the president of the Portuguese Football Federation, said: “Each of our countries brings a vibrant footballing tradition, unrivalled organisational experience and a capacity for innovation that will undoubtedly leave its mark on the future of the competition.”
Morocco’s King Mohammed VI on his part welcomed FIFA’s decision.
The African country had stunned the world in Qatar last year when they reached the semi-finals.
“His Majesty King Mohammed VI… has the great pleasure of announcing to the Moroccan people that the FIFA Council has unanimously selected the Morocco-Spain-Portugal bid as the sole candidate to organise the 2030 football World Cup,” Morocco’s Royal Office said in a statement.
FIFA also said that the 2034 World Cup would be held in the Asia or Oceania region, with member-associations from those territories invited to bid to host the tournament.
Chess Foundation inducts former Chief of Naval Staff Ayinla into hall of fame
Nigeria Chess Federation (NCF) on Monday honoured one of the pioneers of the game in Nigeria, former Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Jubril Ayinla rtd.
The award, which held in Lekki, Lagos State, was part of activities marking the 2023 Nigeria National Chess Championships.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ayinla was inducted alongside other chess greats such as Mr Emmanuel Omuku, Mrs Etokowo Ime, Mr Obafunmilayo Agusto, Mr Tajudeen Oyeneyin and the founder of Chess Federation in Nigeria, Dr Sylvanus Ebigwe.
Responding, Ayinla, former Minister of Health and former Minister of Commerce Trade and Tourism described chess as his life.
“Chess is my life, and I still played chess before coming to the ceremony today. We started playing chess from a basement where there was no light. Chess is a passion and part of life.
“I left chess sometimes because my boss, the then Head of State, thought I was paying more attention to chess than my military assignments. Otherwise, I couldn’t have become a Chief of Naval Staff (CNS).
“I know of my colleague who spent eight years in the university instead of four. I also taught all my children chess but my wife stopped them from playing because of me,” he said.
Ayinla said playing chess had contributed much to his progress and endeavours in life, and advised that chess should be made a compulsory subject in schools.
“Chess has been my life and has affected everything I do in life. So, kudos to those that have chess clubs in their schools.
“Chess is maths, science and art all rolled into one. So, what we learnt in chess, no one can teach. The aspect of life chess introduces is much to be desired.
“Some of the successes in my career were due to the fact that I played chess, it shows in the way I used to plan my war games and other aspects of military life.
“I will recommend chess to all parents, infact, chess should be taught in all schools especially primary and secondary schools. I will continue to give part of my life to chess sponsorships,” he said.
NAN reports that the event also had in attendance former champions such as Mr Fola Akintola, Arc Theophilus Caiafas, Mr Rotimi Dasaolu, Mrs Bunmi Olape and Odion Aikhoje.
The dignitaries at the event included the President of NCF, DIG Sani Usman rtd, Vice President, Prince Adeyinka Adewole, Secretary, Mrs Olabowale Alebiosu and Technical Director, Mr Bode Durotoye.
NAN also reports that the 2023 Nigeria National Chess Championships will feature 12 players. (NAN)
Match fixing: NFF to withdraw club licencse
The Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) said it would withdraw the license of any football club involved in match fixing in the country.
The NFF President, Ibrahim Gusau gave stated this at the opening of the Nigeria National League (NNL) Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Jos on Friday.
Gusau was represented by Margaret Icheen, a member of the NFF Executive Board.
He said that anyone who dents the image of the game would be decisively dealt with according to the laws guiding the game.
The president said that he would do everything possible, to project activities of NNL and indeed football in Nigeria.
He said that NNL being the bedrock of football in the country, its standards must not be compromised for anything.
“And once the foundation is laid very well, we’ll have a quality premier league in Nigeria.
“It is not going to be business as usual where clubs buy matches for their clubs to be promoted.
“The referees have been trained on what to do, the coaches have been trained, the match commissioners also have been trained, anyone who does anything wrong will lose his licence.
“If you have enough resources to buy matches, you better make your players comfortable so that they can produce a better result for your club.
“NFF is ready to do that which will bring back the good name of the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) and the NNL for the good of the country,’’ he added.
Gusau wished the delegates a wonderful deliberation that would yield positive results that would impact positively on the nation’s football.
The NNL Chairman, George Aluo said that the present board of the league was constituted to make the league more viable, more competitive, more attractive to sponsors and professionally driven.
Aluo said that the onerous task requires the cooperation of all football stakeholders particularly the management of NNL clubs.
The chairman stated that the board was committed to ensuring that clubs get value for their investment, adding that for such to come to fruition, a symbiotic relationship was required.
“The present leadership of the NNL under my leadership hereby states our resolve to work with all stakeholders to move the game of football forward.
“We are open to constructive criticisms and advice that will come for the fountain of your indispensable knowledge of football administration.
“No football league world-wide can strive without huge financial investment. Collectively we shall work to secure reputable sponsors/partners for the NNL,’’ he added.
He said that the date and format of the league would be made public at the end of the AGM.
Read Our ePaper
TETFund pledges support to reduce unemployment
Share The Executive Secretary, Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Sonny Echono, has pledged support for measures that will improve employment...
Chairman tasks new CEOs on leveraging expertise for delivery
Share The Chairman, Uniccon Group, Dr Chuks Ekwueme has tasked newly appointed Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) to leverage their expertise...
Police declare Owodunni Ibrahim, `Primeboy’, wanted in connection with Mohbad’s death
Share Police in Lagos State on Wednesday declared one Owodunni Ibrahim popularly known as “Primeboy’’, wanted in connection with the...
Turkey promises to partner NAF, transfer defence technology
Share The Turkish Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Hidayet Bayraktar, has expressed the readiness of Turkey to deepen the existing defence...
Bauchi, Gombe, Jigawa move against medical quackery
ShareBauchi, Gombe and Jigawa governments have adopted proactive regulations and monitoring mechanisms to end medical quackery to fasttrack quality healthcare...
Morocco, Five others across Three continents to host 2030 World Cup matches
ShareMorocco, Spain and Portugal have been named hosts of the 2030 FIFA World Cup, while Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay will...
Reps task health ministry, institutions on mental health
ShareThe House of Representatives has urged the Federal Ministry of Health and other health institutes to ensure the establishment of...
Female engineers teach elderly citizens new tech trends to bridge generational gap
Share The Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria (APWEN), Lagos Chapter, on Wednesday organised a mentorship training for elderly...
Badagry Int’l Film Festival holds Oct. 25, generates Three Thousand film entries – Organizers
ShareThe organizers of the Badagry International Film, Cultural and Sports Festival (BIFIF) on Wednesday said the maiden edition of the...
Police seek closer working relationship with NAF in Enugu
Share The Police Command in Enugu State on Wednesday sought the strengthening of the existing mutually beneficial working relationship between...