World soccer body FIFA has approved the six-nation Aisha Buhari Cup for women, the Nigeria Football Federation has announced .
Ademola Olajire, the NFF media spokesperson, said a FIFA communication signed by Gordon Savic, Head of Qualifiers and International Matches, indicated the approval.
“In accordance with the article 7 of the regulations, FIFA is happy to provide official authorization for this women’s tier 1 tournament…we hereby remind the participating teams that the Laws of the Game must strictly be applied to these tier-1 matches.
“Finally, we would also like to draw your attention to the contents of FIFA’s circular no.1735 of 1st October 2020. The strict application of the FIFA’s Return to Football – International Match Protocol (IMP), or an equivalent protocol of your confederation compliant with the said Protocol, is required,” the FIFA letter stated.
The participating countries are Nigeria, South Africa, Cameroon, Ghana, Mali, and Morocco and the tournament is scheduled to commence on Wednesday, 15 September at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Onikan, in Lagos.
And a member of the South Africa team, Bambanani Mbane, revealed her excitement at the tournament. “I’m very excited because it’s been a long time that we played international games, so this tournament will give us an indication as players how far we are with ourselves and football,” Mbane said via Sowetan Live on Thursday.
Ghana is also said to have named its 23-strong team to the maiden edition of the tournament.
Nigeria is Africa’s No.1 ranked team but missed out on the just-concluded 2020 Tokyo Olympics and will use this tournament to adequately prepare for the qualifiers for the 2022 Africa Women Cup of Nations, which will also serve as the 2023 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. ##