The Lagos State government has assured the Confederation of African Football (CAF) of state-of-the-art sporting facilities and an enabling environment at the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations.
Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu gave the assurance during a courtesy call by a CAF inspection team on Wednesday at Alausa, Ikeja.
The governor, who was represented by his deputy, noted that the state had all the requirements to co-host the tournament with the Republic of Benin.
He said: “Lagos State had in the past hosted the under 17 and under 20 World Cup football competitions and this has given us an insight into the protocols of hosting.
“We have the template, and we know what is expected of us, so we will make sure that it is good.”
Mr Sanwo-Olu, therefore, assured the delegation of good hospitality in the state by both the public and private sectors.
The governor, however, said the state was aiming beyond the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations, as it also planned to build the interest of the young generation in football.
He stated that the goal of his administration was to make sure that young Nigerian talents were recognised globally in sporting activities.
“Aside renovating the Teslim Balogun Stadium to standard for the purpose of the competition and beyond, we are building new ones in different communities within the state.
“So far, we are building nine stadiums in Agege, Ifako-Ijaiye, Ikorodu, Epe, among others.
“This is for the purpose of accommodating and encouraging youths, both male and female, in terms of playing football and other sports.
“The essence for us is to also start a lot of sporting activities in our communities which includes community football,” he said.
Mr Sanwo-Olu pledged that before the end of the year, the Teslim Balogun Stadium would be ready.
Earlier, the leader of Nigeria’s bid delegation for the Africa Cup of Nations 2027, Mainasara Illo, said the team was in Lagos to inspect football facilities that had been proposed by the Nigeria Football Federation for the hosting of the Africa Cup of Nations 2027.
Mr Illo said six states in Nigeria and two cities in the Republic of Benin had been proposed to host the competition.
He expressed optimism that the venues proposed in Nigeria would pass the test.
“It is totally inexcusable if Lagos State, being Africa’s largest economy, the nation’s most populous state and a state in which football is most passionately followed does not make it,” said Mr Illo.
He, therefore, urged the state government to hasten work at the Teslim Balogun Stadium as the team had visited the stadium and observed that construction was ongoing with other training centres that would be used for the competition.
Mr Illo requested that the state government should ensure the provision of good hospitals, and hotels for important personalities (VIPs), among others, were readily available.
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