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More tourneys, greater opportunities for African teams, says FIFA

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Women’s football and FIFA’s desire to see more African teams qualify for the ninth Women’s World Cup in 2023, were the focus of a working visit by a FIFA delegation to Nigeria.

Led by FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura and including FIFA’s Chief Women’s Football Officer Sarai Bareman, the delegation attended the inaugural Aisha Buhari Cup, a women’s football tournament featuring six African National teams, in Lagos, Nigeria.

The delegation was joined at the competition by FIFA Council member Isha Johansen and CAF vice president Kanizat Ibrahim.

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The presence of the FIFA delegation followed the attendance of the FIFA and CAF presidents for its opening discussions with the tournament organisers, the Nigerian Football Federation and its president Amaju Pinnick, on the future of the women’s game in Nigeria.

The FIFA delegation also attended the annual NFF Awards during their mission to Lagos and were delighted to see women’s football not only in the spotlight at the event but feted with great enthusiasm.

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Speaking at the conclusion of the mission, FIFA Secretary-General Samoura said, “Nigeria is a country full of passion and I’m so pleased to see this passion being channelled into women’s football. The Aisha Buhari Cup is extremely important, as it allowed African teams the chance to have more competitive experience. The more we expand the opportunities for our girls to gain experience through tournaments on a continental level, the greater the chances of seeing more African teams qualify to the expanded FIFA Women’s World Cup.”

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On her part, FIFA’s Chief Women’s Football Officer Bareman added, *The skill and natural talent in African women’s football is simply outstanding and this tournament has provided a great window to view this. FIFA will work closely with our MAs throughout the continent, like the NFF and its dedicated women’s football team, to build clear strategies and roadmaps for African teams.”

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