Thursday, March 28, 2013

NFF writes FIFA, CAF on tricky June duel

The Nigeria Football Federation on Thursday wrote to world
football-governing body, FIFA and the African body, CAF over tricky
2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying games and the FIFA Confederations Cup,
all in the month of June.

FIFA had last week adjusted Nigeria’s matches, meaning the Super
Eagles would play Kenya in Nairobi on Wednesday, June 5 and take on
Namibia in Windhoek on Wednesday, June 12, before flying to the FIFA
Confederations Cup tournament in Brazil. Nigeria became Africa’s
flagbearer at the tournament following triumph at the Africa Cup of
Nations in South Africa last month.

“We have fully appraised our priorities and wish that either of the
following options be seriously considered: 1) That the matches in our
African qualifying Group F (Kenya Vs Nigeria; Malawi Vs Namibia and;
Namibia Vs Nigeria; Malawi Vs Kenya) be played on the SAME DATES of
Wednesday, 5th June and Wednesday, 12th June, 2013 respectively.

2)That all the matches be reverted to the ORIGINAL DATES of Saturday,
8th June and Saturday, 15th June, 2013 respectively,” the letter,
signed by NFF General Secretary, Barrister Musa Amadu, read, inter

It means the Super Eagles would either play Kenya’s Harambee Stars and
Namibia’s Brave Warriors at the same time and day as Malawi would host
Namibia and Kenya respectively, or the matches would take place at the
World Cup qualifying weekends as originally scheduled.

“We make this request in the interest of fairness, as at the moment,
Nigeria and Malawi have same number of points (5) and, for Nigeria to
play TWO DAYS before Malawi in each of the two important qualifying
games in June will give undue advantage to the Malawians,” the letter

Amadu added: “We see the FIFA Confederations Cup competition as a key
tournament, but we also know we have to qualify for the 2014 FIFA
World Cup finals, as priority. It is important to us to go to the FIFA
Confederations Cup and then return to Brazil a year later for the FIFA
World Cup finals.”

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