The draw for the second African Minifootball Nations’ Cup Competition group stage has been held by the African Minifootball Confederation (AMC).
The draw for the competition which is scheduled to host between July 8 and 17 was held at Ilaji Hotels and Sports Resort, Akanran Ibadan, Oyo State Capital.
The Deputy Governor of Oyo State, Engr. Rauf Olaniyan, who was the Guest of Honour at the event, has expressed the readiness of the state to host the second edition of the Africa Minifootball Nations’ Cup Competition.
The Deputy Governor, while speaking, maintained that there is adequate security for all the participants and officials, as well as for supporters coming from 16 different African countries.
Engr. Olaniyan charged the representatives of those countries to allow their players, officials and supporters to explore the tourism potentials of Oyo State during their stay in the Resort.
The President of Africa Minifootball Confederation, Achraf Ben Salha, disclosed that the best five teams in the tournament will represent Africa in the 2022 Minifootball in Ukraine, saying that this is the qualification for them.
Apart from Ivory Coast, the champions of Africa, Tunisia, Senegal and Libya are well known in Minifootball but other teams are new and this is their first edition.
“This tournament will be a very interesting one and this is very good for Nigeria to host the rest of Africa.
“I’m proud to say, if we agree together, Nigeria can host the next Minifootball World Cup, the facility here at Ilaji Hotels and Sports Resort is the best in Africa, I have visited round the world,
I have never see a place like Ilaji Sports Resort and I must thank the National President, Nigeria Minifootball Association, Hon. Oluyemi Taiwo for making the dream a reality,” Ben Salha said.
In his speech, the Chairman, Ilaji Hotels and Sports Resort, Chief Dotun Sanusi, whose speech was delivered by the company’s Chief Operating Officer, Prince Adesina Araoye disclosed that the Resort is established with a vision to be leading hospitality and entertainment outfit in Nigeria and Africa through the provision of consistent classy services and activities to guests and be enviable platform to the discovery and nurturing of sporting talents to stardom.
According to him, “our journey into strategic sporting alliance began with our partnership with SWIEQI United FC OF Malta and not long after, we were able to secure the franchise of Malaga CF of Spain; this partnership with Malaga CF has given birth to Malaga CF Nigeria Academy. I am happy to tell you that we have players from Manchester in the United Kingdom and Dakar, Senegal that have enrolled in our Academy and they along with about hundred academy players are residing in this Resort.
“Less than six months ago, precisely last December, we hosted a world title fight between a Nigerian, Ridwan Scorpion and Lucas Matias Montesino, an Argentine. Also, Malaga CF Academy Coach, Marcos Antonio and a football agent from Portugal were here for about a week for a coaching and football clinic. Therefore, hosting international competitions is more or less a daily exercise for us here at Ilaji Hotels and Sports Resort,” Chief Sanusi said.
He expressed further that the security architecture in the residing local government is second to none, while assuring that available facilities are enough to accommodate not less than 400 players.
“Let me assure everyone one of us that we have taken extra steps on security and I am happy to say that this local government has not experienced any form of security breach since we began operation about three years ago.
“Lastly, we have taken conscious efforts that all the facilities that both the athletes and the officials will need are right there, hence you can see that we cannot wait for the competition to begin properly,” Chief Sanusi said.
The President of the Nigeria Minifootball Association, Hon. Oluyemi Adewale Taiwo, expressed that Nigeria is very proud to host the most talented and gifted amateur footballers across sixteen African countries, stating that it is a stepping stone to the professional international football game.
He said that it will give a platform to groom rising, young talents for higher honour. “As a stepping stone to the professional football games, this tournament provides a wonderful opportunity for the footballers and coaches who gather here in Nigeria for this tournament. There is no better experience for young sportsmen than being selected to represent their countries in an event of this stature, importance and magnitude.
“This event serves as a valuable platform for grooming rising, young talent for higher honour. The players and coaches in this tournament have the opportunity and chance to be the stars of the future,” Hon. Taiwo said.
In the draw which was performed by the President of African Minifootball Confederation, Achraf Ben Salha and former Super Eagles star, Mutiu Adepoju, saw the first edition defending champion, Ivory Coast was handed a tricky set of fixtures in Group C which also includes Somalia, Egypt and Ghana.
The host nation, Nigeria was placed in Group A along with Senegal, Morocco and Djibouti.
While group B features the Benin Republic along with South Africa, Burkinafaso and Tunisia, Group D is headlined by Libya, Gambia, Zambia and Algeria.