By Oyediji Oluwaseun Babatunde
Sports Writer, kick442.com-Nigeria
It is no longer news that the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has confirmed its interest in hosting the 2020 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations. After the confirmation by NFF’s director of communications Ademola Olajire, it is pertinent to look at Nigeria’s performance as host of previous African Women championship (now African Women Cup of Nations).
Worthy of note is the fact that Nigeria have won the Women’s Nations Cup in 1998, 2002 and 2006 as host.
Nigeria hosted the 1998 edition of African Women championship and emerged as champions with 2-0 victory over Ghana.
In 2002, Nigeria also hosted and won the tournament by defeating Ghana by same 2-0 scoreline. Perpetua Nkwocha with four (4) goals emerged as the top goal scorer of the tournament.
In 2006, Nigeria hosted the competition for the third time and also defeated Black Queens of Ghana, this time by 1-0 scoreline. Perpetua Nkwocha with seven (7) goals also emerged as top goal scorer of the tournament while South African, Portia Modise emerged as player of the tournament.
NFF Officials believe it is the right time to host the women’s showpiece event one more time, with games potentially staged in Lagos, Benin City, Asaba and Uyo.
“This is the home of women’s football and the leading football nation in the continent,” Olajire added.
“I believe it’s the right time to do it again. We’ve done it before and we believe it will be like bringing it home again.”
There has been no dates set for the 2020 tournament, but it is usually held in the second half of the year. The last finals were in Ghana.
Six nations have hosted the event since it switched to a tournament format in 1998, Nigeria and South Africa have both staged it thrice, Equatorial Guinea (twice), while Namibia, Cameroon and Ghana have all staged it once.
As Nigeria hope to host the next tournament, from statistics and history, if Nigeria host the tournament, the final might rekindle old rivalry between Super Falcons of Nigeria and Black Queens of Ghana in the final as shown during the three (3) editions previously hosted by Nigeria.
Confederation of African Football (CAF) will determine the host of the tournament later on in 2020 after Congo-Brazaville pulled out of the hosting of the 12-team event last year.
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