Hosting AFCON Is Business Of Govt- Jalla
By Akeem Busari
Many African countries have thrown their hats into the ring, indicating interest to host the next Africa Cup Of Nations, initially slated to be hosted by Guinea in 2025.
And with the uncertainties surrounding the host of Africa’s premium football championship, it has been widely reported that Nigeria may have submitted a bid to jointly host the AFCON with neighbours, Benin Republic.
However, with the NFF, yet to make a categorical official statement in that that regards, expectedly, the unconfirmed reports have seen the media and a prominent member of the present board of the NFF, at logger heads, on the authenticity of the purported joint bid.
The unnecessary binkering have therefore brought another critical stakeholder in Nigerian football, into the fray. Harrison Jalla, the fiery football administrator and Chairman of PFAN Task Force, in a chat with journalists, was quick to explain the roles of the NFF and the government, concerning such desire to host an international sporting event.
“Hosting AFCON is the business of Government of African countries. So far, we have not heard any official statement from the Federal government,” Jalla said.
“Football federations in Africa don’t have facilities outside government owned facilities to host championships like AFCON. But it would be a good idea for a joint bid with the Republic of Benin taking the proximity of the two countries into consideration, if the Federal government of Nigeria backs the joint bid,” he explained.
Jalla further admonished the NFF to create a synergy with the Sports Ministry, to evaluate and explore the benefits and possibilities of the purportedly joint bid with Benin Republic. Adding that beyond the sporting gains, every other valuables in terms of socio-economic aspects, should be critical evaluated.