A glamorous draw ceremony on Wednesday in Lagos heralded the much–anticipated Dr Aisha Buhari Invitational Women’s Football Tournament, which the City of Lagos will host 13th – 21st September.
A clutch of dignitaries, including captains of industry, top officials of Lagos State Sports Commission, top acts of the local organizing committee, Super Falcons’ player and Super Falcons’ assistant coach, women’s football financiers and enthusiasts, and representatives of the media witnessed the epoch event at the Australia Hall of the Eko Hotel & Suites in Victoria Island.
The draw ceremony was preceded by a press conference, where Chairman of the LOC, Barr. Seyi Akinwunmi outlined the objectives of the tournament, which includes galvanizing the critical sectors of the country to support the women’s game better in view of the abundance of talent in the country; promote and project what Her Excellency, the First Lady, Dr Aisha Buhari is doing with her Future Assured Programme; highlight the several opportunities and possibilities embedded in women’s football; showcase Lagos State, the Centre of Excellence and; further project to the international sphere Nigeria’s immense talent in women’s football, the good attitude of Nigerians and the organizational skill of Nigerians.
Director of Organization, Ms Aisha Falode minced no words in saying that the coming tournament is more than just football played on the field. She contended that what Her Excellency is doing with the Future Assured Programme dovetails excellently with the tenets and spirit of the FIFA Women’s Development Programme, which is all about the girl-child and her health as well as economic empowerment and educational enhancement. She revealed that the organizers want to use the tournament to build positive and enduring narratives about women’s football, Lagos State and Nigeria generally.
Director-General of the Lagos State Sports Commission, Mr Toyin Gafaar Bolowotan assured that the Lagos State Government, through the Lagos State Sports Commission, will offer all the necessary support to enable a hitch-free tournament, as completion work is at high speed at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Onikan and renovation work is apace at the Agege Stadium – the two venues for the tournament.