NIGERIAN Football Federation (NFF) president Amaju Pinnick has assured the nation that there will be total transparency and accountability if Nigeria is picked to host the 2020 U20 Women’s World Cup as an anti-corruption panel would be put in place to monitor spending.
With next year’s U-20 Women’s World Cup fast approaching, Fifa is keen for Nigeria to host the tournament after South Korea pulled out. Already a Fifa inspection team has visited Nigeria to inspect the facilities and five venues have been short-listed in Lagos, Benin City, Asaba and Uyo to host the event.
According to Mr Pinnick, anti-corruption agencies like the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission and the police will head the compliance committee if Nigeria’s gets to host the tournament. Having hosted the Fifa U-20 World Cup and its U-17 equivalent in 1999 and 2009 respectively, this will be the third time Nigeria is looking to host a global age grade competition.
Mr Pinnick said the proposed tournament would allow Nigeria to fast-track the emergence of new football stars in the country. He added that these events would also act as windows to the world.
“The benefits of hosting world-class events and tournaments have been thrashed in a lot of conversations but these events also act as windows to the world. From the provision of new facilities to the upgrading of existing facilities both sporting and otherwise, to the massive boost in the local economy, it will help.
“Events like these show the other side of Nigeria to a lot of foreigners who do not see it in their news cycles, so it is usually a chance to tell our stories to the world, as opposed to the world telling our stories to us. Then the most important aspect of these competitions, in my point of view, is the emergence of new football stars.
“Tournaments like these are fast-track stages for the new Mercy Akide-Udoh, Desire Oparanozie and Asisat Oshoala to announce themselves to the world. From the start of this process to the end of it, we will be as transparent as we possibly can and hopefully, with the support of all Nigerians, we will deliver a worthy tournament for our women,” Mr Pinnick added.