The Super Eagles of Nigeria will begin effective preparations for the Russia 2018 World Cup in November with a friendly match against Lionel Messi led Argentina, Sportstalkafrica.com can confirm.
This was revealed by the Communications Department of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on Saturday afternoon.
The high –profile international friendly with the three times World Cup winners, Argentina, is scheduled for the Krasnodar Arena Stadium in the Russian city of Krasnodar on Tuesday, November 14, 2017, thenff.com quoted the General Secretary of Nigeria football house, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi.
“All arrangements have been concluded with regards to the big match, subject to approval by world football –ruling body, FIFA and agreeable flight arrangements.
“We have had long and fruitful talks, and we can say that we have an agreement. We await the approval by FIFA and also, we have to agree on the flight arrangements that would be comfortable for the players and crew.
“The match will come up on 14th November, four days after the Super Eagles’ final 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying match away to Algeria. We had offers from teams like Iran, Saudi Arabia and Morocco but we have opted for the Argentines,” Sanusi said.
The Eagles take on Algeria’s Fennecs in what is no more than an academic exercise, at the Stade Mohamed Hamlaoui in Constantine on Friday, 10thNovember.
Nigeria and Argentina played two high –profile friendly matches in 2011, the first in Abuja in June ending 4-1 in favour of the Super Eagles. The Albiceleste trumped the second encounter 3-1 in Dhaka, Bangladesh three months later.
NFF’s FIFA Match Agent Jairo Pachon of Eurodata Sport, who also organized the friendly matches with the Argentines in 2011 and has been working hard for various Nigerian National Teams in the areas of training camps and friendly games since 2009, told thenff.com:
“We are very pleased to be able to deliver such a high –profile game to celebrate the Super Eagles’ 2018 World Cup qualification.
“It was a lot of work over the past week but we are happy this has become reality. We will, in due course, reveal the Nigerian sponsor of the match who will have the match rights in Nigeria.”
While Argentina qualified for Russia on the final day of the South American qualification campaign, the Super Eagles have reached Russia with a match to spare.
Nigeria have had to confront Argentina in four of its previous five FIFA World Cup appearances, starting with a 1-2 defeat in Boston, USA in the African team’s debut in 1994. Argentina won another group phase clash 1-0 in Ibaraki, Japan in 2002, won a similar encounter by the same margin in Johannesburg, South Africa eight years later and then edged the Eagles 3-2 in Porto Alegre, Brazil in 2014.
Other famous encounters between both nations include two final matches of the Olympic Men’s Football Tournament – Nigeria edging it in 1996 in America and the Argies winning by the odd goal in China 12 years later.
Before the Super Eagles friendly, Argentina will take on World Cup hosts Russia in a friendly on 10th November while the Eagles are playing the Fennecs in Constantine.
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Fred Edoreh - Publisher
Born July 13, 1965, Fred Edoreh hails from Umeh, Isoko South, Delta State. He attended St. John Primary School, Iselegu, Mater Dei Collage Ashaka, St. Patrick’s Grammar School, Asaba for HSC and graduated in English and Literary Studies at Bendel State University, Ekpoma.
He went into journalism in 1990 with Newbreed Magazine and later crossed over to television production with Ultimate Sports and Soccerworld on the Nigeria Televsion Authority.
He subsequently moved to pioneer Internet publishing in Nigeria with Nigeriasports.com and was later employed at Silverbird Television from where he moved as Editor of Weekend Sports at Naational Mirror Newspapers.
He currently publishes the online sports website www.sportstalkafrica.com besides and also runs a sports marketing outfit, Westcoast Works and Projects, managing and marketing live radio broadcast of the Nigeria Professional Football League.