Football Writes

6 Cities that benefitted when Nigeria hosted the world cup in 2009

Reasons abound why Nigeria should consider hosting a world cup tournament. It is not rocket science. However, hosting any tournament leaves the host with a lot of benefits. In this blog we will state reasons why Nigeria should start making such plans.

Before we go into it reeling out why Nigeria should do it and the cities that should have a look in let’s take a look at the 2009 U-17 world cup which Nigeria hosted and the cities took part in it and how they fared.

Calabar Stadium- AIT

Calabar- The U-17 world cup rose the profile of the UJ Esuene stadium to world attention. 3 years after that world cup the city became the host city of the Super Eagles. Though, the city prior to that world cup, have always held the biggest Carnival in the world towards the last days of December every year. So it was easy to host a world cup tournament with the facilities the city could boost of then. From the health, to the transportation, to the hotels, to the security sectors you could agree with me that the city was in top shape for it. Not forgetting the beach.

However, the 10,000 sitting capacity of the stadium, including the security problems of the world have put a dent in the ability for the city to host such a big tournament. The state government should consider restarting the Calabar Carnival and they should add sporting events to it and see what happens. Building at least a 30,000 sitting capacity stadium should be in the pipeline if Calabar should consider hosting any major tournament again.

Bauchi Stadium: Northeast Reporters (Facebook)

Bauchi- The Bauchi stadium was part of the hosting grounds of the U-17 world cup in 2009. Prior to the tournament, roads were (re)constructed, hospitals were fully equipped and upgraded (including health personnel), the city was heavily secured, and the transportation sector was looked into. Though, the stadium at the moment has continued to undergo upgrades, but the city is no longer what it used to be in those days.

Also, it is expected that with the oil drilling near the state the economic situation of the people should improve and the government should consider upgrading the 10, 000 sitting capacity or build at least a 30,000 sitting capacity stadium so as to be considered for a future hosting.

Enugu Stadium- Reform sports

Enugu- Prior to the recent renovation work that is going within and around the stadium, the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium was just a shadow of itself.

The city was part of the places that hosted the world cup. It was in the running to host the third place match except that Lagos was and is a big name. The road network in the city then was adjudged as the best, the health care then was top notch, even the hospitality sector was way better than what was obtainable in Calabar then. Even the then FIFA vice president, Jack Wagner could not hide his joy with what he saw. Also, the media team set up was so powerful that Abuja was only made the media coordinator of the tournament because it was Abuja. Even Lagos was in serious running to fight it out with Enugu on media superiority then, if in doubt ask AIT.

Aside the hospitality sector what happened to all the facilities and the sectors in Enugu was and still is beyond human comprehension.

Kaduna stadium-

Kaduna- Prior to the 2009 U-17 world cup, Kaduna city hosted the National Sports Festival in 2008, so the city right from the start was very ready for the tournament. The facilities within and outside the stadium were still brand new and therefore, needed a little upgrade to be a host city. To a lot of Nigerians who visited the city both in 2008 and 2009 Kaduna was a cosmopolitan city with slight difference from Lagos. Till today, the stadium in Kaduna has continued to receive all the attention it deserves. If the stadium is to host any tournament of international standard (which it is already qualified to) the stands ought to be covered. This is to making it a modern 25,000 sitting capacity stadium.

Lagos stadium- Guardian Newspaper

Lagos- If not for the political powerful of Abuja Lagos could have led the way in this tournament. Also, the Lagos stadium then was still the reputation of being most vociferous stadium then. It still has the record of being the only stadium to have ended a match before the referee blasted his final whistle during that tournament, just about a minute to the end of the semi-final match (which Nigeria was leading) the stadium lights went off and it became a situation of “all man to himself, God for us all.”

Though a 25,000 sitting capacity, built in the early 70s, the stadium has this intimidating aural about it that it becomes difficult for a winning team to lose during the course of play. However, the stadium is under going renovation- to cover the stadium. It still remains a place of power for any football team.

Abuja Stadium- Pulse Nigeria

Abuja- It has hosted two international major events (the 2003 All African Games and the FIFA U-17 World Cup), it has also, hosted the National Sports Festival. The stadium was built in 2003 for the AAG.

However, one major problem the city has is that it is not a sporting city. As the nation’s capital city you do not expect that the facilities within and outside the stadium will be faulty. However, this 60,000 sitting capacity stadium is still a sight to behold. If Nigeria is to host any major tournament in the Future the Moshood Abiola Stadium ought to have very serious digital upgrade.

In our next post (Why Nigeria should consider hosting the world cup in 2034) we will give serious reasons why Nigeria bid to host the 2034 world cup

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