Friday, March 25, 2011

Nigeria to play Argentina in friendly

Reigning FIFA Player of the Year, Lionel Messi will be leading other Argentine super stars to play against the Super Eagles in a FIFA-accredited friendly match on June 1st at the Abuja National Stadium.

Disclosing this yesterday at a high profiled international gathering in Lagos, Guinness Nigeria PLC, said that they had struck a deal with the Argentina Football Association (AFA), Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) to organise this great match that would see current world footballer of the year, Lionel Messi, leading the Argentine attack against the Eagles.

Guinness Managing Director, Devlin Hainsworth said the match was a response to the growing calls for the Super Eagles to play a world class fixture against one of the top football nations in the world.

Argentina, apart from being two-time winners of the World Cup, have won the Copa America, more than any other South American country and are at present ranked fourth in the FIFA rankings.

He added that this was just the start of many great days ahead for Nigerian football.

Confirming their participation, NFF President, Aminu Maigari, said that they were happy that the Eagles would have the chance to play against a top-rated nation in Abuja, adding that the game would add value to the national team.

Speaking on behalf of the Argentine FA, Herman Tofoni, who is the head of international relations, said that his country had accepted to play the Eagles on June 1 and added that they hope to continue their dominance over the Nigerian national team on the said date.

Argentina have played Nigeria's Super Eagles three times and won on all occasions. With the likes of Messi and Carlos Tevez set to play against Nigeria, Tofoni said that the domination of Nigeria might just continue.

"We will be fielding a world class team and look forward to our first match against Nigeria on Nigeria's soil. It would be an extraordinary day for football fans and I have the pleasure in accepting the challenge on behalf of Argentina", added the Argentine.

Former Bolton Manager, Sam Allardyce, was one of the international coaches who graced the event and offered a technical overview of what to expect from Argentina and Nigeria when both teams confront each other on June 1.

His presence provided an air of international outlook to the event graced by many great Nigerian players, comprising Austin Okocha, Nwankwo Kanu, Segun Odegbami, Sylvanus Okpalla, Edema Fuludu, Tarila Okorowanta, Daniel Amokachi, Waidi Akanni, Ike Shorunmu, Ogbona Kanu and so many others.

Their presence, enlivened the event sponsored by Guinness Nigeria PLC, who delivered an exceptionally packaged event of high international standard.

Siasia cries over Abuja stadium

Super Eagles' Chief Coach, Samson Siasia is asking for a new training ground outside the Abuja National Stadium.

After the team's morning training session yesterday, Siasia, was full of hisses over the water-logged pitch and also complained on the crowd at his training session, which he said was causing distractions.

"The pitch is not properly managed and I can't train there until there is improvement. I'll meet the minister to discuss the issue with him. We can't kick the ball with the way the pitch is. Something urgent needs to be done", Samson Siasia said.

He also cited the huge crowd that thronged their training session, saying "We need concentration in this business, but the huge crowd won't let us be.I'm looking for a quiet place where no one will distract us", he said.


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