CAF to decide on Nigeria-Benin joint bid, others today
• Sports Minister, Mainasara Illo, others in Cairo
The Executive Committee of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) will today in Cairo, Egypt, vote on the bids for both 2025 and 2027 African Nations Cup.
The joint bid by Nigeria and her neighbour, Republic of Benin, for hosting of the 2027 edition of the AFCON is on the front burner.
With Morocco virtually guaranteed the honour for the 2025 finals, the joint bid by Nigeria and Republic of Benin is in contest with Senegal, Egypt, Botswana and a tripartite arrangement of Uganda/Kenya/Tanzania for the 2027 event.
Algeria was a strong candidate for the 2027 event until the North African country withdrew from the race Tuesday morning.
Guinea was originally selected to host the 2025 finals, on the same day that Cameroun and Cote d’Ivoire were given the mandates for the 2021 and 2023 editions respectively.
But the Guineans fell behind badly in the preparations with infrastructure and other facilities unattended to. A new military government in place has not helped the country’s case, and CAF simply withdrew the hosting right from that country.
Nigeria has put forward the MKO Abiola Stadium, Abuja, Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium, Port Harcourt, Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo, Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos, Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna, Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba, Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City, and Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano, as stadia for the bid.
In the Republic of Benin, the Stade Mathieu Kerekou in Cotonou and the Stade Charles de Gaulle in Porto Novo are listed.
Nigeria hosted and won the 12th edition of the AFCON in 1980, and then co-hosted the 22nd finals with Ghana, in 2000, where the Super Eagles lost in the final to the Indomitable Lions of Cameroun on penalty.
Already, Nigeria’s contingent, led by Minister of Sports Development, John Enoh, with Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Ismaila Abubakar; President of NFF, Ibrahim Musa Gusau, General Secretary of NFF, Mohammed Sanusi, and Project Coordinator, Mainasara Illo, are already in Cairo.
A source in Cairo hinted The Guardian, yesterday, that the Nigeria/Benin Republic bid is being strongly being considered.
Before the vote is taken by the CAF Executive Committee today, the bidding nations will have 10 minutes to make a presentation, with the Nigeria/Benin case to be canvassed by veteran broadcaster and experienced bid campaigner, Mainasara Illo.
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