NIGERIA: NFF writes FIFA, CAF on tricky June duels

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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 Wednes-day, 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 alia.

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 concluded.

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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