The Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna will get the “necessary maintenance and upgrades” it requires to ensure it is in shape for the return of FIFA inspectors who will once again, assess facilities and equipment put forward by Nigeria to host the 10th FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup next year.
The assurance was given by the Minister of Youth and Sports Sunday Dare in Kaduna after an inspection tour of the stadium facilities on Tuesday, August 26th.
The stadium had been discounted as a potential match venue on account of safety fears following unsavoury incidents in the final of the 2019 AITEO Cup and wasn’t included amongst the facilities inspected by FIFA’s five-person inspection team on their first visit to Nigeria earlier in August.
The coordinator of Nigeria’s bid to host the 2020 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup, Mainasara Illo had told busybuddiesng.com that there still was a possibility that the Ahmadu Bello stadium could be included in the next batch of inspections.
And following his tour of the stadium’s facilities and a meeting with Governor Nasiru El Rufai of Kaduna State, Dare said “urgent attention” will be given to the facility ahead of the return of the inspectors.
“This Tuesday I inspected the Ahmadu Bello Stadium Kaduna built in 1964 ahead of the next inspection by FIFA for the U-20 Female World Cup to be hosted by Nigeria. Urgent attention will be paid to necessary maintenance and upgrades needed,” Dare said in a tweet via his personal Twitter handle.
The newly-sworn in Minister has been on a nation-wide wide tour of federal government owned sporting facilities to gain first-hand knowledge of their current state and ascertain the requirements for bringing them back to life.
Nigeria, one of four countries to have participated in every edition of the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup, is bidding to be the first African country to host the tournament.
Nigeria’s Falconets reached the final of the competition in 2010 and 2014, losing to Germany on both occasions, and were semi-finalists in Japan in 2012.