The sports-loving Governor of Lagos State Babajide Sanwo-Olu has reinstated that no stone will be left unturned to ensure the Centre of Excellence goes down in history as the best ever host of football event in modern day with the upcoming maiden Aisha Buhari Invitational Women’s Football Tournament.
The Nigerian sports city was handed the task of hosting the first-ever Aisha Buhari Cup competition that will see the continent’s powerhouses in women’s football – Nigeria, Cameroun, Ghana, South Africa, Mali, and Morocco – test their strength in a celebratory and convivial atmosphere.
The Centre of Excellence known for its aquatic splendour is not new to hosting big time sporting events. It parades a number of world class sports facilities in different parts of the State and cerebral sports administrators in its fold. Facilities at these stadia, Mobolaji Johnson Stadium (formerly Onikan Stadium), Teslim Balogun Stadium, Agege Stadium (Soccer Temple), and others are being upgraded to meet the peculiarities of a high profile tournament like the Aisha Buhari Cup.
The nation’s commercial hub has hosted the Africa’s mini-Olympics, the All Africa Games, Africa Cup of Nations, FIFA U17 World Cup, FIFA-20 World Cup, Olympic and AFCON qualifying matches for all cadres of the national teams both male and female, league matches, among others with flawless and seamless deliveries.
Lagos always goes the extra-mile whenever the issue around hosting of an event has to do with the women, it usually comes with special touches as shown in the two previous times the State hosted the elite NWFL Super 4 at the ‘Soccer Temple’ Agege Stadium, Lagos in 2018 and 2019. Those events have stood the test of time as the most glamorous and best ever organised in any clime.
The images of what the State can do as host featured prominently when the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the Aisha Buhari Invitational Women’s Football Tournament paid a courtesy visit on Governor Sanwo-Olu to brief him on the football fiesta. The Governor reinstated his undying love for the women’s game, an overwhelming joy to host the football showpiece, and readiness to unlock the beauties and hospitality of the State to participants.
“Football is one of the lead factors that bridge the gap and bring communities closer and is enabling a more exciting world. The women’s game has continued to pull its weight and can be said to be presently at par with the men’s game in the euphoria that it generates, and the sheer class, stamina, excellence and expertise that the players put on display,” the Governor said.
“Lagos State, the State of aquatic splendour, is delighted to be named as host of this very important invitational tournament. We will aim to not only host a tournament befitting of the name and positive values that Her Excellency projects and promotes but also want to showcase our State and the country at large through an efficient and effective organisation that will be talked about for a long time.
“The opportunities available in football are boundless, so we will commit to delivering a successful and model event that will spur us to encourage and support women’s football in our institutions of learning in Lagos State,” said Sanwo-Olu.
The Aisha Buhari Foundation with its theme ‘Future Assured’ is an advocacy outfit vigorously canvassing for the well-being of women, children and adolescents. It tries to optimise the potentials of women, youth, and children through interventions in health, education, and economic empowerment. Aside football, the event will aim to sensitise Africans on the benefits of sports to global development. It will address issues affecting women in developing countries with specific reference to the place of the girl-child in the society.