Nigeria’s Minister of Sports, Sunday Dare, has expressed his confidence in the country’s bid to co-host the 2025 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) with Benin Republic, following Guinea’s failure to meet the Confederation of African Football’s (CAF) timeline on staging the event.
Dare believes that hosting the 2025 AFCON would accelerate Nigeria’s socio-economic development, and the government is waiting for CAF’s decision on the bid. He stated that Nigeria has done everything expected of it by CAF, which recently inspected the nation’s facilities to assess their readiness for the biennial event.
Speaking on a radio programme in Lagos, Dare said, “Already, CAF/FIFA representatives have visited Abuja, Uyo and other designated stadiums for the AFCON. The sports ministry is waiting for CAF’s verdict to know the next step to take,” as quoted by theguardian.
Dare also revealed that seven ministries, including the Ministry of Interior, are prepared to pool their resources together to achieve the hosting bid. “This is not the first time Nigeria is seeking to co-host the AFCON with a neighbouring African country. Benin Republic was the first country initially given the right to bid for the 2025 AFCON, but Nigeria had to join them because they know they cannot do it alone,” he said.
If Nigeria’s bid is unsuccessful, Dare stated that the country still has a chance to bid for the 2027 edition of the AFCON. “If the CAF verdict does not favor Nigeria and we can’t host the 2025 AFCON, Nigeria still has the opportunity to bid for the 2027 edition,” he said.
In summary, Nigeria is seeking to co-host the 2025 AFCON with Benin Republic, and Dare believes that hosting the event would be a significant boost to Nigeria’s socio-economic development. The government has done everything expected of it by CAF, and seven ministries are ready to pool their resources to achieve the hosting bid. Finally, Nigeria still has a chance to bid for the 2027 edition of the AFCON if its bid for the 2025 event is unsuccessful.