Some football fans in the Kwara state town of Omu-Aran on Monday advised the Federal Government to bid for the hosting of the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN).
The fans spoke to newsmen in reaction to the loss by Kenya of the competition’s hosting rights.
They said the move by Nigeria, if it was made, would enhance the development of its sports facilities.
Newsmen report that the Confederation of African Football (CAF) at its Executive Meeting on Saturday at Accra in Ghana had withdrawn the hosting of the event from Kenya.
It said the country would not be able to put the necessary infrastructure in place, ahead of the competition scheduled for January 2018.
The Omu Aran fans were however of the belief that Nigeria has the wherewithal to host such an event successfully.
Zakariyau Bello, the Chairman of Football Supporters Club, Omu-Aran Chapter, said the hosting of the 2018 CHAN would enhance the country’s preparedness and performance at the 2018 World Cup.
“Nigeria has always been tipped by sports analysts and the world football governing body, FIFA, as one of the African countries with the potential to win the FIFA World Cup in future.
“That assertion to me is a great challenge to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), and it should be handled with all seriousness.
“The journey to attain such feat depends much on our active participation in football activities, including the bidding for and the winning of the 2018 CHAN hosting right,’’ he said.
Yemi Aransiola, the Director of Oyeyemi Sports Academy in Omu-Aran, said hosting the next CHAN by Nigeria would help to promote unity and harmonious relationship among the citizenry.
He said football is globally well-known to be a unifying factor, irrespective of ethnic, religion, cultural or political affiliation.
“Recent developments in the country as regards hate speech, agitation and the rest remain a source of concern to patriotic Nigerians.
“Not minding the cost, hosting an event of such magnitude will not only help to transform the game but will bring us together as one indivisible entity,” Aransiola said.
Festus Nwosu, a sports promoter, called for the sustenance of the country’s football exploits, especially in Africa.
“It has been a very long time we played host to African teams in football. Hosting the 2018 CHAN will not be a bad idea,” he said.
CAF member-countries wishing to replace Kenya have until Oct. 1 to submit bids, while the new host would be named later in the month.