The Nigeria Football Federation has signified interest to host the 2020 Africa Women ’s Cup of Nations .
Spokesperson of the NFF , Ademola Olajire , confirmed this in a chat with Punch correspondent on Thursday.
He said Nigeria was showing interest in hosting the flagship women’ s football tournament in Africa , as the leading country in the game .
Congo, the initial hosts of the 2020 AWCON , pulled out last year.
“ As the leading women’ s football nation in Africa , why can another country bid to host and we cannot ? We have signified interest to host since last year and the Confederation of African Football has been aware ever since , ” Olajire told The PUNCH.
CAF president Ahmad Ahmad told French radio RFI that Equatorial Guinea were also interested in hosting the 2020 AWCON .
But Olajire expressed optimism that Nigeria would beat competition from other countries bidding to host the event .
“ We should be able to win the bid , if we are not sure of winning , we wouldn’ t have submitted any bid in the first place, ” Olajire added.
“ Some places have been pencilled down , Lagos , Benin City and Abuja are among the shortlisted cities; these are places that have a history of hosting women’ s football .
“ The AWCON is around November, so we have a lot of time to get some stadiums that are not yet ready to be. ”
Ahmad said final decision on the host country will be made at CAF ’ s Executive Committee meeting on January 1
The last major tournament played in the West African nation was the 2009 Under-17 World Cup, 10 years after the country hosted the under-20 version.
Defending champions Nigeria have previously hosted and won the Women’s Nations Cup in 1998, 2002 and 2006.
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.
Nigeria’s women are the most successful national team in African football history with nine titles – two more than Egypt’s men’s team.
The Super Falcons are the only African team to have played in all eight of the Women’s World Cup tournaments since 1991 but they have failed to translate their continental dominance on the world stage.
Their best performance came when reaching the quarter-finals in 1999 and 20 years later when they exit in the second round of the 2019 tournament in France.