Aisha Buhari Cup: NFF, others laud Lagos govt over hosting, stadium facility

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The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and other football stakeholders have commended Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos on the successful hosting of Aisha Buhari female competition.

The NFF through its 1st Vice President, Seyi Akinwunmi, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Wednesday, commended Sanwo-Olu for supporting the tournament wholeheartedly.

NAN reports that the gates of Mobolaji Johnson Arena were opened to host the maiden edition of the Aisha Buhari Cup after it was closed for refurbishment about three years ago.

The newly remodeled arena did not disappoint as many football enthusiasts continued to pour encomium on the Lagos for such a world-class arena.

Akinwunmi, who is also the Chairman, Lagos Football Association, said that the Aisha Buhari Cup had gone down in history for the many successes recorded, especially for Lagos to showcase the sporting facility it was blessed with.

“The Mobolaji Johnson Arena is a fantastic edifice and we must commend Gov. Sanwo-Olu for putting this up. It shows the vision, commitment and to sports, especially football.

“We have shown to the world what we have in Lagos State, as testimonies from the coaches around the world have it that this arena has one of the best facilities.

“The stadium is work in progress but it is a fantastic edifice; so give kudos to the Lagos for such a beautiful sports monument,” he said.

Akinwunmi, who doubles as the Chairman, Local Organising Committee of Aisha Buhari Cup, also noted that the competition had made a statement about Nigeria in the female football.

“This competition is a big plus to our efforts at promoting the female football competitions in Nigeria and of course in Africa.

“A lot of parents who are skeptical of allowing their female children to play football must have seen for themselves the opportunity this provides, especially the girl child education.

“Nigerians have the opportunity to watch the female football stars, especially the younger ones; which is great.

“The Super Falcons tried their best to win the game as well but the match did not go their way,” he said.

The President, Nigeria Football Supporters Club (NSFC), Samuel Ikpea, said the newly refurbished stadium would serve its purpose to bring more international competitions to Lagos.

“The story of the Mobolaji Johnson Arena will not end with the Aisha Buhari Cup but what it means is that Lagos will have more grounds to host international competitions.

“The stadium is a wonderful structure that can compete with what exists in the developed countries. It is a good initiative from the Lagos State Government and kudos to Gov. Sanwo-Olu.

“Lagos State had hosted international youth tournaments before. So now, there is option to host any tournament in Lagos alone along with other beautiful stadia,” he said.

A Football Commentator, Jerome Jebunita told NAN that the newly refurbished Mobolaji Johnson Arena had added to the growing list of world class sporting facilities provided by the Lagos State Government.

“The Lagos State has shown that it will not relent in providing international standard sporting facilities as we have seen it here in this stadium. Thanks to the Lagos State Government.

“If other states of the federation can only be thinking ahead like Lagos, then we will have a good ground for sports to grow all over the federation and not Lagos State alone.

“This stadium, though not so big, yet it is elegant and delightful. Lagos has always been in the forefront of providing the best of the sporting facilities, so others should emulate them,” he said.

Jebunita also said that the Aisha Buhari Cup had been able to expose the flaws of the female football giants in that they were more invincible.

“This tournament has brought a lot of upsets and flaws, the most recent is the defeat of the Super Falcons by the Banyana Banyana of South Africa.

“Also, we saw the defeat of Cameroon in the hand of Ghana, while Morocco also defeated Cameroon. If we look at the tournament entirely, it is a good one for women football.

“The tournament has been able to expose the bigger nations against the so-called underdogs and also Nigeria has been able to discover few future stars like Monday Gift.

“The lesson for Nigeria is that we need to start to groom new players to step in for the ageing ones,” he said.

The Media Officer, Lagos-based MFM FC, Olawale Quadri, also commended the Lagos State Government for the provision of additional world class facility to the existing ones.

“This stadium is a wonderful initiative which has brought something different to sports in Lagos State and in Nigeria.

“Now, we have options to choose any stadium of our choice to host international tournaments.

“This has added to the number of good football pitches scattered all over Lagos State. want to say that Lagos has been blessed with governors that had the interest of the youths at heart.

“Also, the Aisha Buhari Cup is a good platform to showcase the type of facility we have in Lagos because it is a plus for us and the local clubs based in Lagos State,” he said.

NAN reports that the Banyana Banyana of South won the inaugural Aisha Buhari Cup after the defeated Super Falcons of Nigeria 4-2