Aisha Buhari Cup, a women football invitational tournament whose inaugural edition holds in Lagos, a Nigerian commercial city, next month has received financial support of N50m from the federal government through the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development.
The minister of youth and sports development, Sunday Dare, announced this on Tuesday in his office, Abuja, when he received in the audience the Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the competition.
He commended the committee for the wonderful work done so far and the efforts made to host a successful competition in spite of the challenges, saying the competition has the potentials to boost the development of women’s football and unite the nation.
“I knew you started all these with little or no funds,” Dare remarked.
“But seeing how much progress you have made and positive strides you have taken shows to me that you are miracle workers. I have read a lot about what you have done even when I was at the Olympics.”
The Minister further assured that all necessary support will be given to make the competition a huge success because it will unite the nation and encourage more interest and participation in the women’s game.
“When the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) president Amaju Pinnick told me of the plans to stage the competition, the first question I asked him was if he had enough time to see it through. He said yes and I promised to lend him my support a hundred per cent. I’m glad that the event is now a reality. The competition will not only excite and inspire our people, but it will also unite us.
“Whatever will unite people has the full support of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, so my support is total, especially since it has to do with women’s football. FIFA is unapologetic about the development of the women’s game. The competition is going to attract more women to take to football.”
The Sports Minister thereafter declared financial support of Fifty Million Naira (N50m) for the competition with a promise to get other well-meaning Nigerians to do the same.
In his remarks, Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee(LOC), Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi thanked the Minister for his support in getting the Presidential Task Force(PTF) on Covid 19 to grant permission to have the event staged in Nigeria.
He said the importance of the competition is underscored by the interest shown in it by six of the top women football playing nations in Africa namely Ghana, Morocco, Cameroon, South Africa, Mali and hosts Nigeria.
He appealed to the Minister to assist in fast-tracking entry visas for the participating teams.
The Aisha Buhari invitational tournament will take place in Lagos from September 13th – 21st at the Agege Stadium and the refurbished Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Onikan.