How Nigeria can host FIFA competitions: Infantino

Sports minister Sunday Dare with Infantino at Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja

Sports minister Sunday Dare with Infantino at Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja

By Muhyideen Jimoh/Abuja

FIFA President, Gianni Infantino on Thursday, in Abuja, revealed how Nigeria can be made a destination for top Grade A football matches and FIFA competitions.

Infantino gave the insight when the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare took him on a tour of the renovated main bowl of the Moshood Abiola National Stadium.

Nigeria had hosted two FIFA world cups till date. In 2009, Nigeria hosted the FIFA U-17 World Cup. Ten years earlier in 1999, Nigeria also hosted the U-21 World Cup.

The FIFA boss, who was visibly happy with the re-grassed pitch at the stadium, said well maintained stadia with good pitches was key to hosting grade A matches.

He said FIFA was ready to work more closely with Nigeria to develop the game and host more grade A matches in the country.

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“We (FIFA) have to make sure when a country, when a government with the President, the minister and private persons are investing in football, in stadia, we work with them to give something back.

“It’s obvious that stadiums like this (Moshood Abiola stadium) and others in Nigeria deserve the best quality games.

“They deserve top national team games, top club games and it’s not just about Nigerian football or African football, it’s about global football,

“We are working together to see what kind of new opportunities, competitions we can bring for men and women to fill this stadium and make the heart of the stadium beat for fantastic spectacle that all of Nigerian love, which is football,” he said.

Earlier, the minister said the Federal Government will continue to invest in sports development and facilities.

The FIFA President, in company of the minister visited President Muhammadu Buhari and First Lady Aisha at the State house, as part of his engagement.