The Minister of Sports, Engr. Sani Ndanusa, has called on Nigerians, especially the media to join hands with members of the Local Organising Committee [LOC], to make the FIFA U-17 Junior World Cup expected to take place in Nigeria a huge success.
Ndanusa who made the call while speaking to journalists shortly after inspecting facilities at the Nnamdi Azikiwe ultra modem stadium, Enugu recently, noted that the call became necessary because the importance of sports, particularly Football in the development of any nation cannot be over emphasized.
Maintaining that Nigeria is awaiting the final inspection of facilities at the various centers selected for the hosting of the forthcoming Under 17 FIFA World Cup, Ndanusa therefore called on contractors handling the various projects at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu to increase their pace of work.
The minister who was not happy with the slow pace of work at the Nnamdi Azikiwe stadium, stressed the need for all ongoing works at the stadium to be completed before the final visit of the FIF A delegation later this month, adding that “Enugu needed to record 100% completion in all the facilities”.
Engr. Ndanusa, therefore, ordered the contractor handling the projects to ensure completion of work not later than the end of July this year.
He made it clear that it was only FIFA that has the final say, stating that the Local Organising Committee would only monitor and inspect facilities and allow FIFA to deliver its verdict.
The minister explained that they were in Enugu to inspect facilities for the forthcoming competition as well as to explore ways of assisting the Enugu in its efforts to grip firmly, the hosting right granted to it by FIFA.
“We are here to inspect facilities for the Under 17 World Cup. You should be aware that FIFA expects 100% completion of all the facilities in all the selected centers. Anything short of that will not be accepted. The workers should increase their work pace. We are looking for 100% and nothing short of that.
Continuing, the minister further said: “Remember, we are not FIFA, we don’t have the final say but there is need for workers to increase their commitment. As you are aware, FIFA delegation will soon come for the final inspection and anything short of 100% completion of facilities will not be accepted”, he warned.
Earlier while responding to the minister’s questions, the contractor handling the various works at the main bowl of the Nnamdi Azikiwe Staduim, Nuri Gewk assured that the stadium would be ready before the final visit of the FIFA delegation.
He explained that his workers have been working day and night to ensure that the various works at the stadium are completed before the final inspection.
In the entourage of the minister who had already left Enugu for Abuja after the inspection, were the Executive Committee Member of FIFA, Dr Amos Adamu, and the Vice Chairman of the Local Organising Committee of FIFA Under U-17 World Cup, Manasari Ilo.