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Osinbajo: Government of Nigeria fully supports 2020 Women World Cup Bid

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 By Ben Nwachukwu, Abuja

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has given the world football governing body (FIFA) the assurance that the Federal Government of Nigeria is 100 per cent in support of the bid by the country to host the 10th FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup finals in 2020,

Nigeria’s number two citizen spoke when a team from world football governing body, FIFA and accompanying officials of the Nigeria Football Federation and members of the Bid Committee paid him a courtesy call at the Presidential Villa.

“The Government of Nigeria guarantees to back the bid 100 per cent. We are actually excited with the prospect of hosting the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup in 2020.

For us, football is a unifying force. Government interest in hosting is beyond commercial; football is a measure of unity and well –being of our people as diverse as we are.”

Osinbajo promised that the Government will mobilize every apparatus to ensure a successful hosting, in the areas of infrastructure, security and other logistics.

The Vice President also stated that His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) is an ardent football lover and is excited about Nigeria hosting the tournament and is in full support of the bid, while thanking the President of Nigeria Football Federation, Mr. Amaju Melvin Pinnick, the NFF leadership and the Bid Committee for putting forward a strong bid for Nigeria.

Earlier, NFF President Pinnick had informed Vice President Osinbajo about the excellent facilities present in the four proposed host cities – stadia, training sites, hotels, hospitals, road network, security and seamless air travel.

“We had warm welcome from their Excellencies the Governors and people of the four States, who had worked tirelessly to put in place the appropriate structure to host a successful and memorable tournament. Hosting the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup in 2020 will leave a lot of legacies beyond the physical; it will impact on humanity.”

Pinnick traced the history of the U20 Women’s World Cup, saying Nigeria had been an ever-present, and highlighted how the competition served as discovery forum for players like Asisat Oshoala, Desire Oparanozie and Rasheedat Ajibade who are now the leading lights of African women football and are known globally, and are also giving back to the next generation of young girls through NGOs and direct investment in the Nigeria economy. He thanked FIFA for considering Nigeria as a strong contender to host.

Leader of the FIFA team, Heyral Kaj Jurgen praised Vice President Osinbajo for the warm welcome the team received in all cities visited. With him were Christopher Exley (Security) and Kliment Taseski (Tournaments and Events).

The delegation to Vice President Osinbajo was led by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Sports, Mr. Olusade Adesola accompanied by the President of the Nigeria Olympic Committee, Engineer Habu Ahmed Gumel, and also included Barr. Seyi Akinwunmi (NFF 1st Vice President); Mallam Shehu Dikko (NFF 2nd Vice President); Dr. Mohammed Sanusi (NFF General Secretary); Ms Aisha Falode (Chairman of the Nigeria Women Football League); Alh. Mainasara Illo (Bid Coordinator); CP Umar Baba (NFF/Bid Committee Security Adviser); Dr. Paul Onyeudo (Medical); Dr. Emmanuel Ikpeme (NFF Deputy General Secretary) and; Chikelue Iloenyosi (SA to NFF President).

The FIFA team, which arrived in Nigeria through Lagos on Monday evening, inspected facilities in Lagos, Benin City, Asaba and Uyo, meeting with Governors Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Godwin Obaseki, Ifeanyi Okowa and Udom Emmanuel, who variously assured them of the keen interest and desire of their various governments and peoples to meet FIFA requirements for hosting the competition.

SPORTS

NFF Seeks Increased Corporate Organisations  Funding of Nigerian Football

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The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), has called on corporate organisations to increase support to the federation to help develop football in the country.

The NFF President, Ibrahim Gusau made the call when MTN Nigeria hosted the Super Eagles on Tuesday in Abuja.

Reports says that Super Eagles finished as runner up to the host country, Ivory Coast at the just concluded 2023 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cote d`Ivoire.

Gusau said without finance the team would not have achieved what it achieved in the tournament.

“All of us today would have loved to be celebrating here with the trophy but unfortunately God knows why.

“We thank God at least as we heard from the captain this is the beginning of the new dawn as far as Nigerian football is concerned.

“I want to use this opportunity to thank MTN for their support and I hope that other corporate organisations will come up to see how they can support us the most.

“Without finances we cannot achieve what we have been able to achieve, so we need more corporate organisations to support us to build on what we have so far built,” he said.

The Chairman MTN Board of Directors, Prof. Ernest Ndukwe, said that  MTN’s support for  the Eagles was  its own way of giving back to the society.

“This is because MTN is a sport loving organisation. Over the years, we have always wanted to support the Super Eagles in various ways. MTN is fully committed to continuing the Super Eagles.

“We are building a nation where sports have a great role to play as a unifying force. So if we support sports, we are actually promoting unity among Nigerians,” he said.

The MTN’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Karl Toriola on his part appreciated the emotional commitment of the players to succeed.

“What I liked about this team which we haven’t seen in other teams of other nations was the visible emotional commitment to succeed.

“Unfortunately we didn’t bring the cup home but that is always going to be difficult when you are playing against your host country.

“You guys have shown your complete commitment through your leadership, and we are extremely proud of you supporting the Nigerian football federation and the super eagles,” he said

Head Coach of the Super Eagles, Jose Peseiro, thanked everyone that supported the team all through their preparations and the tournament proper.

“To the NFF I thank you, MTN I thank you, Nigerians I thank you for all the support,”he said

The Assistant Captain of the Super Eagles, Troost Ekong who spoke on behalf of the team, said this was the beginning of a new era.

“Thank you NFF, thank you MTN, thank you Nigerians, thank you our fans. We have given everything we have and have made everyone proud.

“We will be better in the future. Because this is not the end but the beginning of something new and we are hoping for the best,”he said.

Mrs Ifueko Okauru, Board Member, MTN Nigeria and former Chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), said MTN supported all gender, age brackets, abled and disabled persons in the society.

“MTN supports all genders and all of us able and disabled, young and old. Whatever is needed to support MTN is here to support.

“Sports development is more than just what corporate organisations do; it needs significant funding and it also needs passion to ensure that this is done and done excellently.

“I must say though we all love sports, the fans are a major part of sports development.

“The economic condition of the fans is very important to ensure that as a corporate organization, we drive sports development by encouraging fans development and developing businesses around sports to grow sports,” he said. (NAN)

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SPORTS

Côte d’Ivoire wins African Cup of Nations after Defeating Nigeria.

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THE host, Elephants Of Ivory Coast beat Super Eagles of Nigeria 2-1 to win the Africa Cup of Nations 2023.

It’s was all Ivory Coast but they weren’t able to make their possession count and Nigeria strike with their first serious attempt in the 38th minute.

A corner is only half cleared to William Troost-Ekong who powers a header into the net.

The centre-back and captain Troost-Ekong has scored three goals at this year’s Afcon.

That’s one more than he managed during his whole 68 appearances in three seasons at Watford.

Ivory Coast got a deserved equaliser in the 62nd minute, as poor marking allows Franck Kessie to head his country back with a fine corner from Gradel.

Kessie was about eight yards out but he was totally unmarked.

The host took the lead in the 81st-Minute, the roof came off as Sebastien Haller sticks out a leg to turn Simon Adingra’s cross past Super Eagles keeper, Nwabali.

The Super Eagles have lost more Afcon finals than they have won.

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SPORTS

About 2 Billion People Watching 2023 AFCON—- CAF President

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 The Confederation of African Football (CAF) President, Patrice Motsepe, on Friday in Abidjan said about two billion people globally are watching the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Côte d’Ivoire.

Motsepe disclosed this at a news conference, ahead of the AFCON final on Saturday.

He described the feat as an achievement that Africans should be proud of.

“We have had close to two billion people watching AFCON globally.

We should be proud as Africans and the next one will be even better.

“The success of Africa depends upon Africa working together, trading together, and in football, countries competing and playing together,” he said.

Reports says that the organisation of the tournament has so far been top notch, with six beautiful stadia across five cities hosting the continental showpiece.

The Super Eagles of Nigeria will lock horns with hosts Cote d’Ivoire in a block burster final on Sunday at the 60, 000 capacity Alassane Ouattara Stadium, Ebimpé in the outskirts of Abidjan.

While the third-place match on Saturday between South Africa and DR Congo is slated for the iconic Stade Félix Houphouët-Boigny also in Abidjan.(NAN)

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