FIFA President, Gianni Infantino who is in the country for the Aisha Buhari Cup has said that it is his dream to see an African team play in the Women's World Cup final in the near future.
The world football governing chief who is in Lagos for the six-nation Aisha Buhari Invitational Football Tournament which kicked off yesterday, said in an exclusive interview on AriseTV that he was in Nigeria to support the growth of women's football.
"With an event like this Aisha Buhari Cup, I believe it will help boost the women's game. I hope an African team will make it to the final of the Women's World Cup very, very soon," observed Infantino who described Nigeria as a "football crazy" nation.
Infantino recalled how over two billion people watched the last women's World Cup final in France two years ago.
"The women's football is rising and interest in the game is growing. At the last Women's World Cup final in France two years ago, over two billion people around the world were following the game. That was incredible and awesome."
The FIFA President stressed that with more than 50 Per cent of the African population female, "We need to force through good organization, more of women into football. We are looking at the possibility of more participants from Africa through our youth tournaments," he noted.
Infantino remains hopeful that with the next Women's World Cup around the corner in 2023 in Australia, "We are looking at the two years circle of the women's World Cup and are hoping that African women's football will be at the top very, very soon."
While calling for more investments in the women's game, Infantino called on the men's clubs to lend helping hands to their female counterparts.
"The men's teams have to help the women's game to grow. We need to have the men's teams also having female teams. Revenues generated from the men's game should help by investing into the growth of women's football. It is high time that we treat this half population of the world that are women as truly, truly deserve all our support to flourish."
Asked to comment on the women's team that catches his fancy at the ongoing Aisha Buhari Cup, Infantino danced away, preferring instead to say he was going to root for the FIFA referees doing great.
"I am looking forward to seeing Nigeria perform as always but also should not forget that all the other teams are getting better."
Infantino, CAF President, Patrice Motsepe, NFF and FIFA Council Member Amaju Melvin Pinnick, and Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu were amongst the distinguished VIPs that watched Nigeria's Super Falcons defeat Mali 2-0 in the opening match of the Aisha Buhari Cup at the refurbished Onikan Stadium now rechristened Mobolaji Johnson Arena on Lagos Island waterfront.