Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has promised that the state will go all out to upgrade and modernise all facilities that have been proposed by Nigeria to host next year’s FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in the state.
Sanwo-Olu made the pledged during a courtesy visit paid to him in his office by the FIFA inspection team, led by Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) president, Melvin Amaju Pinnick, to whom the governor also gave an assurance that The Centre of Excellence will not be found wanting.
The governor described Pinnick, a CAF Executive Committee member and official of the organizing committee for FIFA competitions, as a resourceful, award winning, never-say-die, self-driven and strong believer in the Nigerian Project.
The delegation that visited Sanwo-Olu on Tuesday also included NFF first vice president, Barrister Akinwunmi, chairman of Lagos State Sports Commission, Dr. Kweku Tandoh and the director-general, Toyin Gafaar, and NFF executive committee member, Ms Aisha Falode.
Others in the team were tour coordinator, Mainasara Illo, medical head of mission, Dr. Paul Onyeudo, Lagos FA technical director, Dotun Coker, NFF director of communications, Ademola Olajire, protocol officer, Emmanuel Ayanbunmi, security adviser, Umar Baba, and Ladi Idowu of Lagos State Sports Commission.
Sanwo-Olu stressed that Lagos State is excited to be included in the plan to host the first ever FIFA women’s tournament in Africa, and vowed that his government will do everything to make Nigeria proud.
He enthused that Lagos State has the will, zeal and capacity to ensure that it meets all the requirements stipulated by FIFA for any country willing to stage its championships, of which he said Nigeria’s former capital is ready to host the 10th edition of the Female Youth Mundial.
While also describing the estimated 22 million people of Lagos State as resourceful, dynamic and full of positive energy, Sanwo-Olu noted that their strength lies in diversity and a youth population driven by the will to succeed, which he believes will spur them to fully support the bid.
Sanwo-Olu disclosed: “We want to use sport as an engaging tool, as a corrective narrative to show that the positive energy of the youth can indeed take a society to a high level.
“I want to assure that we are ready to meet your high standards in the areas of accommodation, security, logistics and crowd management, and also savour that unique experience of hosting a FIFA tournament.
“I want you to see Lagos State as a partner that understands that your next tournament must be better than the last. We will make sure to upgrade facilities wherever this is required.”