Governor Akinwunmi Ambode on Monday evening said that the State has the capacity to host international football
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode on Monday evening said that the State has the capacity to host international football tournaments and use sports as a tool to showcase its rich tourism, hospitality and entertainment culture. Governor Ambode, who spoke when he received the President of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), Gianni Infantino and his team on a courtesy visit to the Lagos House in Alausa, Ikeja, said the population, soccer enthusiasm and the tourism potentials that abound in the State are indicators to the fact that the State has the enabling environment to receive any FIFA projects in Nigeria. The Governor, while welcoming the choice of Lagos as the host city of the FIFA Executive Committee Summit, said it would present a great opportunity for the State to showcase its huge investment in football development especially for youths and women.
He also expressed confidence that the FIFA President and his team, after the visit, would consider Lagos favourably to host a FIFA competition, while also pledging support for events by the world’s football governing body. “I want to say that we are so excited that Lagos is playing host to the FIFA Executive Summit, we would be the second African city that would be hosting this kind of meeting and we are excited that you decided that Lagos would host it. “It is very important for us because soccer is big in Lagos and we are able to show you the kind of facilities and things that football can actually do to us as a nation.
I believe strongly that your hosting this meeting in Lagos portends greater potentials for us in Lagos; we are very strong on youth development and youth soccer development and also soccer development for women. “I believe as you decide tomorrow and then days after on where you intend to put your projects, Lagos stands to welcome all the projects of FIFA. We have the population, the enthusiasm and we also have the tourism potentials to actually receive any FIFA projects in Nigeria,” Governor Ambode said. Besides, Governor Ambode thanked Infantino for deeming it fit to select a retired Chief Judge of Lagos, Justice Ayotunde Philips as a member of the Ethics Committee of FIFA, saying that it was a testament to the State’s credibility.
“I want to personally thank you for selecting one of our retired Chief Judges, Justice Philips into the Ethics Committee of FIFA and that happens to be one of the most important committees in FIFA and I believe strongly that for us to have produced one of those members goes to show how credible that we can be in Lagos,” he said. Governor Ambode who also spoke at the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF/Aiteo) Awards held at Eko Hotels and Suites, Lagos, said that partnering with the NFF for the hosting of the award was also a privilege to showcase the Lagos as the emerging sports hub for Africa.