2022 World Cup miss cost Nigeria billions of naira - President, CAF Appeal Committee

Published on: 13 March 2023

President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Appeal Committee, Barrister Abdulhakeem Mustapha (SAN) has continued to rue the absence of Nigeria at the last 2022 World Cup, saying it may further hobble soccer development in the country.

The lawyer and sports development aficionado made this observation while hosting the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Kwara Chapter executives in a mind meeting session.

He also advocated for the need for further improvement in sports reporting in the country, saying that the media is a huge component of sports developmt in the country.

Barrister Mustapha who stated this when he hosted the leadership of the Association in his residence on Friday, said that for sports to grow in the country, Nigerian sports journalists must make it a duty to promote local contents.

On the non-appearance of Nigeria at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, he estimated that it cost sports industry a huge loss of billions of naira.

Mustapha, who is also the Chairman of Foresight Football Academy added, “I have respect for sports journalists because they are the image makers of the industry. For sports to grow in Nigeria, SWAN has a pivotal role to play in society because they are the mouthpiece of the producers and consumers of the industry.

“If you watch the Western world, they project the positive image of their sporting industry and it is paying off.

The developed countries project the good news of their sports industry and relegate the negative news because they are aware it will chase away sponsors.

“I am urging Kwara SWAN to set a pace by promoting all sporting activities positively and I want to assure you that sponsors will be attracted to the Association."

Barrister Mustapha is currently undertaken the regressing of the Kwara State Stadium main bowl for which the state’s darling club, Kwara United, has had to shift its home matches to Akure.

Speaking on the re-grassing of Stadium, he said, “I believe this is one of the ways I can give back to the State.

“The State Government has been supportive and by the end of the day, the biggest winner is going to be the people of Kwara.”

Earlier, the Chairman of Kwara SWAN, Ayodeji Ismail lauded Barrister Mustapha for his vision and mission in transforming football in the State.

He noted that the football enthusiast has succeeded in taking a sizable number of youths and engaging them via his academy.

He said, “Kwara SWAN is happy to identify with you because you have done tremendously well in the football circle.

“SWAN is a respectable association in the world and the Association will use its platform to project the image of sports in the State.

“Kwara SWAN is embarking on capacity building for its members and the executive of the Association is reaching out to critical stakeholders like you for support.

“SWAN has all the manpower and platform to showcase the activities of contributors to the growth of sports," he said.