FIFA Delegation Keep Silent On Nigeria Verdict

The head of FIFA’s five-man inspection team to assess Nigeria’s ability to host next year’s U-20 Women’s World Cup, Heyral Kaj Jurgen has stopped short of giving any verdict on the outcome of their four-day checks in Lagos, Benin City, Asaba and Uyo.

Rather than state whether Nigeria will be granted the hosting rights, Jurgen said the inspection team will compile a detailed report and hand it over to the relevant department at the global soccer governing body’s secretariat in Zurich, Switzerland.

He, however, went on to give kudos and thanks to Nigeria’s officials and government authorities for according them a comfortable, cordial and effeccient reception at every port of call they made in the country.

Jurgen, who was in Abuja along with security expert, Christopher Exley and as well as tournaments and events officer, Kliment Taseski, praised Nigeria’s vice-president, Professor Yemi Osinbajo for the warm welcome the FIFA team received in all cities visited.

The delegation that visited Osinbajo was led by permanent secretary in the ministry of youth and sports, Mr. Olusade Adesola, accompanied by president of Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), Engineer Habu Ahmed Gumel, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) first vice-president, Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi and second vice-president, Mallam Shehu Dikko.

They were joined by NFF secretary-general, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi as well as chairman Nigeria Women Football League (NWFL), Ms Aisha Falode, bid coordinator, Alhaji Mainasara Illo, security adviser, CP Umar Baba, medcical officer, Dr. Paul Onyeudo, NFF deputy general-secretary, Dr. Emmanuel Ikpeme and ex-international, Chikelue Iloenyosi, who is now a special assistant of NFF president, Melvin Amaju Pinnick.

The FIFA team, which arrived in Nigeria on Monday, inspected facilities in Lagos, Benin City, Asaba and Uyo, during which they met with all four state governors, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Godwin Obaseki, Ifeanyi Okowa and Udom Emmanuel, who Jurgen said gave assurances over the hosting.

The governors assured the FIFA team of the keen interest and desire of their various governments and people to meet requirements for hosting the competition next year, much to Jurgen’s delight.

Jurgen said: “We will consolidate on our findings, and collate our report before the decision is made.

“During our four day stay in Nigeria, we were able to make checks and note what the country has in terms of facilities and equipment.

“We have checked everything and we have taken notes during these four days. Now we will go back with what we have. An announcement will be made after we check everything and consolidate.”

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