Costa Rica and Panama are both capable of filling in for unready Nigeria as co-hosts for next year’s Fifa U20 Women’s World Cup, according to Fifa president Gianni Infantino.
The world football governing body boss is looking away from the African nation and now considering replacements
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The West African nation, who were heavily favoured in the race to land the hosting rights, are now on the brink of losing out following its inability to meet Fifa conditions after its inspection in August.
Infantino, who is on a three-day tour across the Caribbean and Central America, held a discussion with Costa Rica President Carlos Alvarado Quesada on a co-hosting with Panama in San Jose.
The Swiss-Italian administrator said that the Central American nations are fit to stage the women’s U20 competition next year.
“Costa Rica is a country where you truly live football and the serious work carried out by the FEDEFUTBOL, in full harmony with the local authorities, is clearly reflected in the state of the art infrastructures and in the important results achieved by the national teams at all levels in the recent past and I warmly congratulate them for this,” Infantino was quoted by Fifa.com.
“Costa Rica is a very good example of what can be achieved in terms of football development with serious and hard work, and is a model for the whole region.”
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The development means Costa Rica would be hosting its second Women’s World Cup tournament after successfully staging the U17 tournament which was won by Japan in 2014.
The consideration of Costa Rica co-hosting with Panama could dash Africa’s hopes to organize the first-ever Fifa women’s tournament on the continent next year.