The six-nation tournament is geared towards celebrating the three decades of women football in the country
South Africa women’s national team coach Desiree Ellis is convinced that the Aisha Buhari Cup is the beginning of great things to come for female football on the continent.
The Dr Aisha Buhari Invitational Women’s Football Tournament will see the female national teams of six African countries take to the pitches of the Agege Stadium and the Mobolaji Johnson Arena from the 13th to 21st of September.
Hosts Nigeria have been placed in Group A alongside Mali and Morocco, while Group B seemed to be the proverbial “group of death”, boasting South Africa, Ghana, and Cameroon.
The Bayana Bayana will have it tough picking one of the two qualifying tickets ahead of their West African foes, admits Desiree Ellis.
But the head coach is still pleased with the organisers for coming up with such an innovative tournament that will boost women’s football.
“Our (Aisha Buhari Cup) draw was difficult. It’s not as easy as it seems,” Ellis told Cafonline.
“Ghana has been a powerhouse as well as Cameroon in African football. We cannot take any of the teams lightly.
“We’ve always wanted more women’s football competitions on the continent, and this will be a mini Women Africa Cup of Nations. I think this is a start of great things to come for women’s football in Africa.”
Meanwhile, the First Vice President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi, has revealed the person who came up with the idea for the organisation of the Aisha Buhari Cup.
The Aisha Buhari Cup has enjoyed the support and backing of the First Lady of Nigeria and the Lagos state government.
But speaking to Cafonline ahead of the commencement of the event, the Local Organisation Committee (LOC) chairman Barr. Akinwunmi confessed that the tournament is the brainchild of the NFF President Amaju Pinnick.
“Not many people reckoned with the fact that women’s football in Nigeria is already 30 years old,” Akinwunmi said.
“But it was actually in the mix of conversation about how to celebrate this landmark that the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President Amaju Pinnick came up with the idea of hosting a tournament of this magnitude,” he added.