Nigeria, Benin bid to co-host AFCON 2025

 Nigeria and Benin have sub­mitted a joint bid to stage the Africa Cup of Nations in 2025, adding to countries such as Algeria, Morocco and Zambia, who have expressed interest in hosting the finals.

Three-time African champions, Nigeria is looking to stage for the third time having co-hosted with Ghana in 2000 after being the sole organisers in 1980.

“Having completed all the pro­cesses, we submitted our bid before the Confederation of African Football (CAF)’s deadline of De­cember 16,” a top Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) official told BBC Sport Africa.

“The NFF will be sharing more information on the bid to stage the tournament in the coming weeks.”

Winners on home soil 42 years ago, Nigeria lost the 2000 Nations Cup final to Cameroon in a tour­nament generally considered to be a success.

Host of the Under 20 World Cup in 1999, Nigeria last staged a major tournament in 2009 when it hosted the Under 17 World Cup.

Nonetheless, both Nigeria and Benin would have to work hard to convince the CAF inspection team set to tour bidding countries from January 5 to 25.

Designated host, Guinea, was stripped of rights earlier this year because of concerns over infra­structures and facilities – issues which Nigeria shares.

Aside from Uyo, the venue for last season’s CAF Confederation Cup finals, and the refurbished Moshood Abiola National Stadi­um in Abuja, Nigeria, has often struggled to find a decent stadium to host the Super Eagles.

The Lagos National Stadium, which staged the finals of the 2000 finals, is being renovated, while dozens of others in Nigeri­an cities have become white ele­phants – emphasisng the country’s poor maintenance culture.

Criteria required by CAF to stage the event include a min­imum of six stadiums, two of which must have a capacity of at least 40,000 while the other four must also be able to accommodate at least 20,000.

As the 2023 general elections loom in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation is struggling with high inflation, unemploy­ment, power outages as well as an unprecedented wave of different, but overlapping security crises.

Benin has never staged a major continental finals and its notable stadiums are Stade de l’Amitié, which can accommodate 20,000, while the Stade Charles de Gaulle in the capital, Porto-Novo, can only hold 13,000. –BBC

Show More
Back to top button