Ibadan is set to host the second edition of the African Mini-football nations’ competition in July this year.
The sporting event will be held at Ilaji Hotels and Resorts, Akanran, Ibadan, and will host 16 African countries belonging to the African Minifootball Confederation (AMC) and the World Minifootball Federation (WMF).
The draw for the tournament, which will hold from July 8 – July 17, 2021, was held during the week and was attended by representatives of the 16 participating countries.
Oyo state deputy Governor; Rauf Olaniyan reiterated the state’s readiness to host the tournament and assured participating countries of an accommodating atmosphere. He also stated that the current administration is ecstatic to organize such a competition, which would boost sports tourism in the state.
The deputy governor commended the African Minifootball Federation and the Nigerian organization in charge of sports for approving the competition’s location in Ibadan, the state capital.
The president of the Africa Mini-Football Confederation, Achraf Ben Salha, has praised the facilities at the Ilaji Sports Resort in Ibadan.
Salha, a Tunisian who also serves as the vice president of the World Mini-Football Federation, toured the Ilaji facilities ahead of the competition in May 2021.
He praised Ilaji Sports Resorts’ management for the uniqueness of the facilities on the ground, noting that all of the facilities are in the same enclosure on the same piece of land, reducing stress on the players.
Also, National President, Nigeria Mini-Football Association, Hon. Oluyemi Adewale Taiwo said all hands are on the deck to ensure a successful hosting of the tournament.
He pointed at the State Government’s preparedness to provide adequate security and the readiness of Ilaji Hotels and Resorts, Akanran to host a hitch-free continental competition.
The C.E.O, Ilaji Hotels and Resorts, Akanran, Ibadan, Engr. Dotun speaking through the resort’s Chief Operating Officer; Mr Adesina Araoye assured the Confederation that Ilaji Hotels and Resorts is the only place in Nigeria with such amenities suitable for the Minifootball Competition.
The National Head Coach, Babatunde Odubola, commented on the National Minifootball team’s preparation, saying, “Nigeria’s mini-football men’s national team has resumed training with 25 players already.”
He added that the team has conducted two training sessions already.
“The players are coming back into the camp any time soon. We are ready to tackle the teams on our group: Senegal, Morocco, and Djibouti”, he said.
Coach Odubola led the Nigerian mini-football national team to their first African Minifootball Cup in Libya in 2018, where they finished fifth.
The African Minifootball Competition, created in March 2018, is based in Tunis, the capital of Tunisia, and has 15 national football Federations and Associations.
The Confederations Cup, which is played a year before the World Cup, will be hosted at Ilaji Hotels and Resorts Akanran, Ibadan this year.
Nigeria (host nation), Senegal, Morocco, Djibouti, Burkina Faso, South Africa, Benin Republic, Tunisia, Ivory Coast, Egypt, Somalia, Ghana, Lydia, Gabon, Zambia, and Algeria will compete in the 2021 African Cup.