Lagos State Government has assured the Confederation of African Football (CAF) of her preparedness to provide good sporting facilities and the enabling environment to boost the interest of Nigeria in co-hosting the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations with the Republic of Benin.
The Deputy Governor, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat gave the assurance while receiving, on behalf of the State Governor, the Confederation of Africa Football Inspection Team on a courtesy visit to the Round House, Alausa, Ikeja.
Dr. Hamzat noted that the state has all it takes as one of the centres to successfully host a great sport event like the African Cup of Nations, saying that “Lagos has the people, the facilities, and the commitment of the government”.
He added that Lagos State had in the past hosted the Under-17 and Under-20 World Cup football competitions, which gave her an insight into the protocols of hosting, assuring the delegation of good hospitality in the state from both the public and private sectors.
Speaking further, the Deputy Governor 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.
He added that the state is not only renovating the Teslim Balogun Stadium to ensure that it is elevated beyond its present standard for the competition 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.
In his words, “We are going to build more stadiums across the State, in places like Agege, Ifako-Ijaye, Ikorodu and Epe, among others to encourage more participation in community football by the youths”.
Speaking earlier, the Leader of the Nigerian delegation for the Africa Cup of Nations 2027 Bid, 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 the delegation hopes that the venues selected in Nigeria will pass the test.
He added that it will be 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 pass the inspection test.
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 centres that will be used for the competition.
He also requested that the State Government ensure the provision of good hospitals and hotels for Very Important Personalities (VIPs), among others.