By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos
Lagos State is ready to host participants and visitors coming for Under-20 Women World Cup that will be hosted by Nigeria in 2020, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu assured on Saturday.
The Governor said the State has started to put all facilities required to host the sport fiesta in place ahead of its take off, noting that Lagos would do all within its capacity to give participants comfort and make their experience rewarding.
Sanwo-Olu spoke on Saturday while on inspection of the sporting facilities at the National Stadium in Surulere with the Minister of Sport and Youth Development, Mr. Sunday Dare.
The Governor said: “Lagos is getting to a state of full preparedness for the Under-20 Women World Cup. We have started to put facilities in place for the event and we need to do more. Some are wondering if we have the capacity and willingness to do it. I said yes; it is for us to turn our talk into action by preparing the sport facilities to be used for the event within the State.
“In few months, we will be super ready. We have seen on this pitch that everything is working; we only need to see what other infrastructure we need to bring to all our stadia as soon as possible. We need to see what other uplift and upgrade we need to put up in these places and other training pitches around.
“This tour is to let Nigerians see the level of preparedness and know where we need to upgrade and get these facilities to the level the FIFA wants us, so that we can be compliant as required of us.”
Beyond upgrading stadia to be used, Sanwo-Olu said the State Government would be partnering with hotels and stakeholders in transport sector to create seamless movement for participants to and fro the event venues.
He added that the accredited medical teams and security operatives would be working assiduously to ensure the sporting fiesta conforms to standards which FIFA would be proud of.
The visit to the stadium by Sanwo-Olu and Dare came two months after FIFA delegates declared Lagos fit as one of the host cities of the competition. After visiting the stadium, the FIFA officials were led to the Governor’s office by the president of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Mr. Amaju Pinnick.
Dare said it was his second visit to the stadium for the evaluation of the facility in preparation for the Women World Cup, disclosing that the upgrading exercise embarked on by the government would turn around the fortunes of the stadium to what Nigerians would be proud of.
The Minister said: “The Lagos State Government is a major stakeholder in any process concerning the national stadium and it is factored in the exercise to upgrade the facility. This process will be accelerated and it would signpost what will happen with other stadia across the country. Today is historical and we will go forward from here to do what is necessary in turning around the stadia. Our transaction advisor and relevant stakeholders will help us to accelerate the process.”