By Salifu Usman, Abuja
Nigeria Mini-Football Association is to host the second edition of the Africa Mini-Football Confederation Cup of Nations between July 8and 17, 2021 in Ibadan.
President of Africa Mini-Football Confederation, Achraf Ben Salha in the company of the World Mini-Football delegates Mrs Ben Khalifa and AMC Tarik Zakaria are being expected in Nigeria this month, May 18, 2021 to inspect facilities in Ibadan for the championship.
The delegates while in the country, are expected to visit the minister of youth and sports, Sunday Dare, before embarking on the inspection tour of the facilities in Ibadan scheduled for May 20.
The Nigeria Mini-Football North Central coordinator, Batako Umar Lapai, said the visiting global and continental delegates are also expected to pay a courtesy visit to the chairman, Senate Committee on Sports, Senator Obinna Ogba, before the inspection tour of the facilities in Ibadan.
“Ibadan is the only place in the country that has an astro turf facility as required by the Africa Mini-Football Confederation. Presently, six properly equipped ambulances are already available,” Lapai said, adding that, “Our major concern is to get the nod of the inspection team on the facilities before we look at other aspects.”
About 20 countries including hosts Nigeria, have indicated interest to participate in the tournament, which is the second in the series. Libya hosted the maiden edition in 2018 that was won by Cote d’Ivoire after beating Senegal in the final, and Nigeria distantly finished in the fifth position in the tournament that attracted nine countries.
According to Lapai, each participating country is expected to come with a team of 24 members comprising 18 players and six technical officials.
“One playing turf was used in Libya in 2018 with nine teams in attendance, and I believe that the facility in Ibadan would adequately and successfully host the tournament with about 20 teams being expected,” Lapai added.
The defending champion, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt and Zambia are among the expected teams.
Others are Ghana, Mozambique, DR Congo, Libya, Algeria, Burkina Faso, South Africa, Mali, Djibouti, Benin Republic, Somalia, Kenya and host Nigeria.