Women's Sports: Could Nigeria be the first African nation to host the U20 Women's World Cup?

Nigeria Women's football

According to the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), the country is the frontrunner to host the Fifa Under-20 Women's World Cup in Africa.

The event is scheduled for July 2020 and if Nigeria is selected by the sport's governing body to host the event it will be the first African nation to do so. Nigeria is currently the only African nation in the running for hosting duties. 

Nigerian Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo, has offered the government's support for the competition to arrive in the country, saying: "The Government of Nigeria guarantees to back the bid 100 per cent,"

"We are actually excited with the prospect of hosting the Fifa Under-20 Women's World Cup in 2020.

"For us, football is a unifying force. Government interest in hosting is beyond commercial; football is a measure of unity and well-being of our people as diverse as we are."

Despite this support, some figures from Nigerian football have expressed concern with the country entering into the running as hosts.

Gara Gombe, a former member of the Nigeria Football Federation Reforms Committee, has told the Nigerian government to block Nigeria from hosting the competition.

"Nigerians will campaign against it (hosting the competition) because it is not in our interest unless we are informed in clear terms whether it is of commercial or developmental values to us as a nation," he told Nigerian publication The Punch.

Gombe instead believes that the fund to be spent in hosting the competition could be used to develop the Nigeria Professional Football League and Nigeria Women Football League.

Nigeria previously hosted the men's U20 competition in 1999 and the
Under-17 version ten years later. 

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A top Nigerian football official told the BBC: "We've received words from Fifa about areas we need to improve on to win the race to host in 2020,"

"There's a strong assurance that we are now favourites to host and we have a few months to make it happen."

Only Nigeria and three other countries have participated in every world U20 tournament since they started in 2002.

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