Barely twenty four hours after Bolivia Football Federation pulled out of the March 26 international friendly match against Nigeria citing security concerns, Uganda has agreed to fill-in the slot. A dramatic last minute negotiations between officials of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) and their East African counterpart has seen a deal struck for the game between the Super Eagles and the Cranes to be played on Wednesday, March 25, a day earlier, at the Uyo Stadium in Akwa Ibom State.
“I am happy to tell you that the March 26th, 2015 FIFA date will be utilized after all. We have concluded plans with and also sealed all necessary terms as regards the match with the national team of Uganda for a friendly against the Super Eagles come Wednesday, March 25, 2015,” a top NFF source told goal.com.
The choice of Wednesday as against Thursday earlier picked for the game, the source explained, is to allow fans to travel ahead of the presidential election. “We don’t want people to have traveling problems since there will be only one day which is Friday before the election fixed for Saturday, March 28 for people to return to their respective bases from Uyo. This is the reason why we opted for Wednesday so that fans will be afforded at least two days to do so.”
The top FA official further revealed that the Nigerian FA found the conduct of Bolivia in the botched friendly unsatisfactory and would seek legal redress through FIFA. “We are also considering legal implications as regards this bungled friendly since the NFF did not breach the contract. We are looking at how we can get fair judgment on the matter from FIFA since we have spent a lot of money as regards preparations and logistics regarding execution of the match.”
According to him, arrangements for the second international match against South Africa is equally as planned. “All arrangements concerning the Eagles’ friendly against the Bafana Bafana of South Africa stays and preparations are in full gear,” he said.
By Olisemeka Obeche (with agency report)