BY KUNLE SOLAJA.
New man on the saddle, John Owan Enoh, the Nigerian sports minister will have his first foray into sports politics as he leads a delegation to convince the CAF executive committee to award the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations’ hosting to a joint bid of Nigeria and Benin Republic.
According to the communication department of the NFF, Enoh’s delegation expected to depart for Cairo on Tuesday ahead of Wednesday’s announcement of successful bid.
He has with him the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Ismaila Abubakar; President of NFF, Ibrahim Musa Gusau; General Secretary of NFF, Mohammed Sanusi and; Project Coordinator, Mainasara Illo.
They are expected to be backed by Nigeria’s FIFA Council Member and Member of the CAF Executive Committee, Amaju Melvin Pinnick.
The NFF is very optimistic of success as the football governing body reports that the Nigeria-Benin bid
has loomed to the forefront in the race for hosting of the 36th edition of Africa Cup of Nations in 2027.
NFF further stated in a press statement that In the corridors of CAF’s headquarters in 6th October City, outside Cairo, the Nigeria/Benin Republic bid is being strongly mentioned, with references to two of Africa’s FIFA Council Members and CAF Executive Committee Members, Amaju Melvin Pinnick and Mathurin De Chacus, who is the sitting President of Federation Beninoise de Football.
Nigeria has put forward the MKO Abiola Stadium, Abuja; Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium, Port Harcourt; Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo; Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos; Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna; Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba; Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City and; Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano. In the Republic of Benin, the Stade Mathieu Kerekou in Cotonou and the Stade Charles de Gaulle in Porto Novo are listed.
Nigeria hosted and won the 12th edition of the AFCON in 1980 and then co-hosted the 22nd finals with Ghana in 2000.