Nigeria could be stripped of world U-17 host job

LAGOS: Nigeria was warned by a top FIFA official on Saturday that the country could be stripped of the 2009 world Under-17 championship, due to take place here in October.

“If Nigeria doesn’t get its act together, Nigeria won’t host it,” warned FIFA vice-president Jack Warner, leading an inspection team.

“Technically speaking, only Abuja (the federal capital city) and (south west Ogun State) Ijebu-Ode stadiums are ready.”

Warner’s team has completed a 10-day inspection of facilities across the country.

Nine stadiums in as many cities were inspected by the officials.

Nigeria first staged a FIFA event in 1999, but Warner said that the standards expected of host countries now are a lot higher than they were 10 years ago.

According to the FIFA chief, some of the facilities in most of the grounds are not complete.

Warner said: “We have been given so many promises since February 28, 2007, but we are not pleased with the sanitation and some other things in some of the venues.”

The inspection team are expected to table their findings to FIFA at a meeting of the Local Organising Committee on February 5. — AFP

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