Aisha Buhari Cup: Super Falcons Begin Tournament Against Mali
The much anticipated Aisha Buhari Invitational Women Football Tournament, dubbed the Aisha Buhari Cup, will kick off today with hosts, Super Falcons of Nigeria taking on Mali’s Eagles in the opening match.
Super Falcons Captain, Asisat Oshoala, arrived in Lagos after recording an impressive outing with her Spanish team, FC Barcelona, at the weekend. She scored twice in a 5-0 victory over Real Betis Femeni.
The matches of the competition will be played at the newly remodelled Mobolaji Johnson Arena, formerly Onikan Stadium, Lagos. Yesterday, Nigeria and Mali took to the pitch to perfect their strategies ahead of today’s game.
Among dignitaries at the stadium to watch the teams’ training sessions were Lagos State Governor, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, who also took time off to ensure the arena is fit for a championship of this magnitude.
While Morocco and Mali are in Group A with Nigeria, Ghana’s Black Queens, the two-time runners-up of the Women Africa Cup of Nations, will tackle Cameroon and South Africa in Group B.
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According to the Local Organising Committee (LOC) media, Lagos First Lady, Ibironke Sanwo-Olu, held a meeting with the organisers yesterday, where she expressed excitement at the state of Mobolaji Johnson Arena.
The Lagos First lady commended the LOC for the ideals, vision and mission set for the tournament, and for encouraging the Future Assured Programme of the First Lady of the Federal Republic, Aisha Buhari.
The LOC disclosed that FIFA President, Gianni Infantino, CAF President, Patrice Motsepe, FIFA Secretary, Fatma Samoura, and other world football personalities would attend today’s opening ceremony.
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Also expected at the opening ceremony are top government officials, including Governor Sanwo-Olu, Mrs. Sanwo-Olu, Sports Minister Sunday Dare; NFF President and FIFA Council Member, Amaju Melvin Pinnic; members of the diplomatic corps, top officials of the Lagos State government.
NFF board members, captains of industry and leading stakeholders of the game in Nigeria will also be in attendance. The six teams in the competition arrived in the country at the weekend, except South Africa that came in yesterday.
The LOC disclosed that it would host a dinner this night in honour of Infantino and Motsepe with Africa’s leading billionaire industrialist and philanthropist, Aliko Dangote, leading Corporate Nigeria to the event scheduled for Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island.
Chidi Nwoke/The Guardian.