FIFA ISSUES NIGERIA WORLD CUP HOSTING ULTIMATUM


Fifa has set Nigeria a deadline of 11 June to commit to hosting the Under-17 World Cup or face forfeiting the tournament.

Nigeria are due to host the 24-team event from 24 October to 15 November.

But the world body is unhappy that several cities have yet to prove their suitability to stage matches.

Last week, Fifa vice-president Jack Warner went to Nigeria to evaluate their preparations and was distinctly unimpressed by what he saw.

Warner said just two of nine prospective venues were close to being ready and said he would recommend a one-month grace period for venues to show signs of improvement.

But Fifa’s Executive Committee, meeting in the Bahamas capital, Nassau, has now warned that unless there are “binding government guarantees”, the tournament will be moved somewhere else.

A high-ranking Fifa delegation will travel to Lagos to get the required guarantees from Nigeria’s Vice-President, Dr Jonathan Goodluck.

Aside from Warner, chairman of the Organising Committee for the under-17 World Cup, the delegation will also include Issa Hayatou, president of the Confederation of African Football.

Fifa Executive Committee member Dr Amos Adamu and Fifa secretary general Jerome Valcke will also meet with Dr Goodluck on 11 June to request binding government guarantees that Nigeria will fulfil all requirements for hosting the championship.

“If these guarantees are given, the six venues will be Abuja, Calabar, Enugu, Ijebu-Ode, Kano and Lagos,” a Fifa press statement said.

Should the guarantees not be issued, the tournament would be withdrawn from Nigeria and an alternative host nation found.

In another development, the Fifa Executive Committee rubber-stamped the lifting of the suspension on the Ethiopian Football Federation.

It said it had done so “on condition that the electoral committee that had since been installed would organise and chair an elective general assembly by the end of July 2009.”

SOURCED FROM BBC

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