2023 will be a busy year for Nigerian sports as the country will be participating in some key sporting events across the world.
These competitions will give Team Nigeria another opportunity to reenact or even surpass their impressive performance at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham where Nigeria emerged as the best-performing African nation with 12 gold, 9 silver and 14 bronze medals.
Trust Sports highlights some of the major events in 2023 where the country’s flag will be hoisted on the global stage.
FIFA women’s world cup
The 9th edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup is scheduled to be held from 20 July – 20 August in two countries, New Zealand and Australia.
The Super Falcons who have been present ever since its inception in 1991 were handed a tricky draw after being housed in Group B alongside one of the co-hosts, Australia, as well as Canada and Ireland.
The Super Falcons will be starting out their FIFA campaign against Canada before other games against Australia and Ireland. The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup will be played from 17 to 23 February 2023.
2023 World Athletics Championship
Nigeria’s Women’s 4x100m relay and 4x400m mixed relay will again blaze the trails at the World Athletics Guangzhou 23 World Relays earlier scheduled to hold in Budapest, Hungary in August 2023.
The two relay teams booked their spot in Budapest following the revision of the qualification system by World Athletics.
Nigeria’s Women’s 4x100m relay team will compete with USA, Jamaica, Germany, Spain, Britain, Italy and Switzerland in the Women’s 4x100m in a revamped qualification system released by World Athletics.
In the 4x400m mixed relay event the Dominican Republic, Netherlands, USA, Poland, Jamaica, Nigeria, Italy and Ireland will compete for medals.
It will also be an opportunity for world champion, Tobi Amusan, to prove that her breath-taking and world record performance in Oregon, USA, wasn’t a fluke.
2023 All Africa Games
The African ‘Olympics’ will be hosted by Ghana and the 13th edition is expected to be held in three cities in Ghana on dates yet to be confirmed.
The city of Accra will play host to more than 4,000 athletes from 55 countries including Nigeria.
Ghana, which is hosting the quadrennial continental sporting festival for the first time since its inception in 1965 in Brazzaville, Congo has however come under heavy fire as to whether the country can meet the deadline for the August 2023 showpiece.
According to reports from Ghana, Dr Kweku Ofosu-Asare – Executive Chairman of the Accra 2023 LOC, has consistently held the view that Ghana would successfully stage the Games.
“I’m highly optimistic Ghana would stage one of the finest Games ever. Indeed, going by the timelines given to us by the African Union Commission, we at the LOC are working our fingers to the bone to make sure we meet those schedules and be able to host the Games pretty well.”
The LOC has been working in tandem with the African Union Commission (AUC) – owners of the Games, to put together a formidably eye-pleasing sports feast, irrespective of the fact that the Olympic-size stadium at Borteyman – which was initially penciled to hold nearly the entire games, would not be ready, next August.
2023 Commonwealth Youth Games
Trinidad and Tobago will play host to 74 Commonwealth Games Association which Nigeria is a member.
The 7th edition will be the first to be held since the death of Queen Elizabeth II and the accession of King Charles III as Head of the Commonwealth and the reigning monarch of the Commonwealth Realms on 8 September 2022.
A total of seven sports have been confirmed to feature at the 2023 Commonwealth Youth Games. They are aquatics, athletics, cycling, Fast5 netball, Rugby sevens, triathlon and beach volleyball.
Scheduled to be held from August 4 to 11, athletes aged between 14 and 18 will compete in two clusters, one in Couva, Trinidad and Tobago.
2023 African Youth Games
Scheduled for April, the African Youth Games will be hosted by Brazzaville and it is expected to feature competition in some 30 sports and attract around 4,500 participants scheduled to begin in April.
Nigeria will be participating in a couple of events but all eyes will be on football where Nigeria’s youth footballers, known as the “Future Eagles”, will seek to reclaim the gold medal won at the 2014 Games in Gaborone.
In 2018 they claimed silver after a final defeat against Morocco in Algiers.
The Games, organised by the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA), are designed for the same 14-18 age group as the Youth Olympic Games. They were first held in the Moroccan capital Rabat in 2010 but have not taken place since 2018 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Men’s IHF Trophy Africa
The Continental Phase of the men’s youth and junior tournaments of the IHF Trophy Africa will take place in Brazzaville, Congo from 16 to 20 January 2023.
The event will serve as a qualification event for the Intercontinental Phase of the IHF Trophy.
At the youth levels, Nigeria will battle Burundi, Congo, Guinea and Zambia while at the junior level, Nigeria will tangle with Congo, Guinea, Madagascar, Rwanda and Zimbabwe.
The 17th edition of the biennial African international youth football tournament organized by the Confederation of African Football will be hosted by Egypt from 19 February to 11 March 2023.
The tournament also doubled as the African qualifiers for the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup to be held in Indonesia. The top four teams will qualify for the World Cup.
Nigeria who have won it three times ((2005, 2011, 2015) are in group A alongside hosts Egypt, Mozambique, and Senegal.
The 15th edition of 2023 U-17 Africa Cup of Nations for players aged 17 and below will be hosted by Algeria from April 8-30.
The top four teams of the tournament will qualify for the 2023 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Peru as the CAF representatives. It is scheduled to take place from April 8-30. Nigeria won the tournament in 2001 and 2007.