Lagos State Prepares to Co-Host 2027 Africa Cup of Nations

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Lagos State Prepares to Co-Host 2027 Africa Cup of Nations
Setting the Stage for Co-Hosting the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations

In a resounding affirmation of its commitment to sports excellence, the Lagos State Government has extended an assuring hand to the Confederation of African Football (CAF), vowing to furnish top-notch sporting facilities and an enabling environment that will galvanize Nigeria’s enthusiasm for co-hosting the much-anticipated 2027 Africa Cup of Nations alongside the Republic of Benin.

The Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, conveyed this decisive pledge during an official reception for the Confederation of African Football Inspection Team, who conducted a courteous visit at the Round House, located in Alausa, Ikeja, representing the State Governor. Dr. Hamzat underscored that Lagos State is well-equipped as a prime contender for successfully hosting such a prestigious sporting event. “We possess the essential trifecta of factors required for a triumphant hosting—people, facilities, and unwavering governmental support,” he emphasized.

Dr. Hamzat also highlighted Lagos State’s track record of hosting previous international football tournaments, including the under-17 and under-20 World Cup competitions. This rich experience has endowed the state with invaluable insights into the intricacies of successful event management.

“We’ve mastered the blueprint, we comprehend the expectations, and now, it’s our mission to replicate our prior accomplishments and elevate them to new heights. The intriguing aspect is that this is a collaborative bid,” Dr. Hamzat asserted. He assured the visiting delegation of an unparalleled hospitality blend, seamlessly amalgamating contributions from both the public and private sectors.

Dr. Hamzat further elucidated, “Our ambitions extend far beyond the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations; our vision encompasses nurturing the burgeoning interest of the younger generation in football. We aspire for a future where numerous Nigerians are integral members of global teams. That’s the ultimate goal.”

He additionally outlined comprehensive plans for sports development, revealing that alongside the revitalization of the Teslim Balogun Stadium to exceed international standards for the forthcoming competition and beyond, the state is vigorously constructing new sports facilities across various communities. This multifaceted initiative aims to cultivate and empower young athletes, regardless of gender, fostering a culture of sports participation.

“Our efforts encompass the construction of nine stadiums across locales such as Agege, Ifako-Ijaye, Ikorodu, Epe, and beyond. The objective is to seed a rich tapestry of community-based football,” Dr. Hamzat expounded with determination. He also guaranteed the completion of the Teslim Balogun Stadium refurbishments before the year’s end.

The head of Nigeria’s Bid Delegation for the Africa Cup of Nations 2027, Mallam Mainasara Illo, articulated the Inspection Team’s purpose during their stay in Lagos. The team assessed the football facilities proposed by the Nigeria Football Federation for the grand event. Mallam Illo revealed that the competition is slated to be hosted across six Nigerian states and two cities within the Republic of Benin. He expressed optimism in the potential of the proposed Nigerian venues to satisfy the rigorous evaluation criteria.

Speaking assertively, Mallam Illo commented, “Lagos State, as Africa’s economic nucleus, the most populous state in the nation, and a hotbed of football fervor, cannot afford to be absent from this milestone.” He urged the state government to expedite construction at the Teslim Balogun Stadium and diligently develop auxiliary training centers.

Furthermore, Mallam Illo made a fervent appeal for essential infrastructure including top-tier hospitals, VIP accommodations, and enhanced airport facilities to support the influx of participants and dignitaries during the event.

With Lagos State’s unswerving dedication, Nigeria’s aspiration to co-host the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations alongside the Republic of Benin seems poised for success, bolstered by a robust commitment to excellence in sportsmanship and event execution.

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