December 23 – Nigeria have lost their bid to become the first African country to host a global women’s tournament after FIFA chose Costa Rica and Panama as joint hosts for next year’s Under-20 World Cup.
It will be the first time that a FIFA youth tournament will be played across two venues.
The next step is for both Costa Rica and Panama to collectively decide how many and which stadiums should host the games, along with the dates.
“The U-20 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica and Panama next year is, for us, an ideal occasion to continue promoting the popularity of this sport,” said Sarai Bareman, FIFA Women’s Football Director.
“In addition, since it will be the first tournament with two venues, we can make its impact even greater.”
Last month, the Nigerian FA said was favourite to land the tournament but ultimately fell short. Nigeria have previously hosted the men’s Under-20 World Cup in 1999 and the Under-17 version ten years later.
The decision is a further blow to Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) president Amaju Pinnick, who initially saw the country’s bid to stage the event as a great opportunity to showcase the women’s game.
Nigeria’s bid would have seen games staged in Lagos, Benin City, Asaba and Uyo, but after further discussions with the relevant federations, the Concacaf region won out.
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