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FIFA U-20 WWC: Gov. Obaseki assures of Edo’s readiness

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Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo on Tuesday gave assurances of the state government’s preparedness to host some matches of the 2020 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup.

Obaseki gave the assurances when he received a joint delegation of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) officials and a FIFA inspection team led by NFF President Amaju Pinnick in Benin.

The governor said rehabilitation work at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin was near completion and the stadium would therefore be ready soon to host various local and international competitions.

He added that this also meant that the stadium would soon be ready for the 2020 National Sports Festival (NSF) scheduled for Benin.

“We take sports seriously in this state, because 72 per cent of our population are under 30 years of age, and that is why we are building 20 mini-stadia across the state.

“Therefore, four of these mini-stadia can be used as practice fields for the Under-20 Women’s World Cup.”

Obaseki also said the competition’s technological needs were being taken care of as fibre optics were being laid across the Benin metropolis to provide the necessary communications network to
broadcast matches.

“The Benin Specialist Hospital will also provide the needed medical services, while there are enough accommodation facilities in the state,’’ the governor added.

Earlier, Pinnick had said the inspection team had visited Lagos earlier in the day and was in the state to assess facilities ahead of the global competition.

He commended the governor for revamping sports in the state, especially in repositioning Bendel Insurance Football Club of Benin.

“You have done a lot for football development in the country and the Nigerian football community wants me to thank you for the role you played in ensuring Nigeria’s Falconets qualified for the last FIFA Under-20 World Cup.’’

Pinnick also disclosed that Benin would host a match between the Super Eagles and Benin Republic on Nov. 11 and the NFF Annual General Congress.

Meanwhile, the five-man FIFA inspection team has stated that it would revisit the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin to re-assess ongoing reconstruction work.

Speaking on behalf of his colleagues shortly after inspecting the stadium, the leader of the delegation, Heyral Kaj, said: “We are quiet impressed with what we saw here during our short inspection.

It’s obvious that the stadium is still under construction.

“I’m quite positive that everything is on plan. I’m basically looking forward to coming to check again in the next few months.’’

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