Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Brazil vs Nigeria friendly cancelled due to Boko Haram

The activities of terror group, Boko Haram, in northern Nigeria have denied the Super Eagles of a high-profile friendly against Brazil.

The Eagles were due to play the former world champions in Nigeria during a FIFA window in September but the recent bombings in some northern states forced the Brazilians to reconsider their proposed visit to Nigeria and sought another African side for the friendly.

The Selacao thus settled for the Bafana Bafana of South Africa, but the match will be played either in Brazil or the USA on September 7.

The Nigeria Football Federation however said the Nigeria versus Brazil friendly would still hold as planned. An official of the football body told The PUNCH that the organisers had not given up on bringing the Samba Boys to Nigeria.

“The friendly has not been cancelled; the organisers are still hopeful of sorting out a few details in order to bring the Brazilians to Nigeria. It is actually Guinness The Match arrangement and the agent that is putting the match together is confident it will hold,” the NFF official said.

Nigeria are looking to play a high-profile friendly as coach Stephen Keshi continue to strengthen the team ahead of their crucial qualifiers for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations and the 2014 World Cup.

The bombings in the north have also affected the hosting of league matches in the region. The Nigeria Premier League was forced to suspend the Week 28 match between Jigawa Golden Stars and Ocean Boys indefinitely due to the crisis in Kaduna. Both sides were scheduled to play in Jigawa on Wednesday.

Ocean Boys were forced to return to Abuja on Tuesday when they turned back from their journey to Dutse, the capital of Jigawa State.

The new date for the match has yet to be decided by the NPL.


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