Home Football Lagos is prepared as a hosting centre for 2027 AFCON — Hamzat

Lagos is prepared as a hosting centre for 2027 AFCON — Hamzat

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The Lagos State Government has assured the Confederation of African Football, CAF, that it is prepared to provide good sporting facilities and the enabling environment to boost the interest of Nigeria in co-hosting the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON, alongside the Republic of Benin.

The Deputy Governor, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, gave the assurance while receiving the Confederation of Africa Football Inspection Team on behalf of the State Governor for a courtesy visit at the Round House, Alausa, Ikeja.

Hamzat noted that Lagos as centre has what it takes to successfully host a great sport event like the African Cup of Nations as “it has the people, the facilities, and the commitment of the government,” he said.

He mentioned that Lagos State hosting the under-17 and under-20 World Cup football competitions in the past gives her an insight into the protocols of hosting.

Hamzat continued, “We have the template, we know what is expected of us, then it is just for us to go and repeat it and make sure that it is good. It is interesting that it is a joint bid”.

He therefore assured the delegation of good hospitality in the state which will be the combination of both public and private sectors.

The Deputy Governor further said, “the state is aiming beyond the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations, as it also plans to build the interest of the young generations in football.

“We want to make sure that around the world when for example there are teams, we want four to five Nigerians to be in all the team, that is the goal.

“The state is not only renovating the Teslim Balogun Stadium to ensure that it is elevated beyond the standard, for the purpose of the competition in the year 2027 and beyond, it is also building new ones in different communities within the state to accommodate and encourage youths, both Male and female in terms of playing football and other sports.

“We are actually doing nine stadiums there in Agege, Ifako-Ijaye, Ikorodu, Epe, among others, the essence for us is to also start a lot of community football for communities to play.”

He assured that before the end of the year, the Teslim Balogun Stadium would be ready.

Speaking earlier, the leader of Nigeria’s Bid Delegation for the Africa Cup of Nations 2027, Mallam Mainasara Illo, said the Inspection Team was in Lagos to inspect football facilities that have been proposed by the Nigeria Football Federation for the hosting of the Africa Cup of Nations 2027.

Mallam Illo disclosed that six states in Nigeria and two cities in the Republic of Benin have been proposed to host the competition, adding that “it is hoped that the venues proposed in Nigeria will pass the test.”

According to him, “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.”

Illo, therefore, urged the state government to hasten work at the Teslim Balogun Stadium as the team has visited the stadium and observed that construction is ongoing and other training centers that will be used for the competition.

He also requested that the state government ensure the provision of good hospitals, hotels for Very Important Personalities (VIPs), and airports, among others.

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