NIGERIA’S Super Eagles are to play friendly games against Ivory Coast and Tunisia in Vienna next month as part of team’s preparations for the resumption of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
Due to the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, all World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers were postponed indefinitely. Now that the lockdown has been lifted, international matches have begun and the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) is lining up games against the Elephants of Ivory Coast and the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia on October 9 and 13 in Austria.
NFF president Amaju Pinnick, revealed that Austria was picked as an ideal venue to host the two friendlies due to the Covid-19 protocols presently in place and the proximity of the bulk of the Super Eagles team as well. He added that the costs of the friendlies will be borne by three federations.
Mr Pinnick said: “As we await the federal government’s pronouncement on the resumption of football, the federation has been in active discussions about possible friendly matches and I’m happy to say we have finally sealed two high profile matches for next month. On the 9th of October, the Super Eagles will play former African champions, Cote d’Ivoire in a friendly game, then face another African giant and former champions Tunisia, four days later, on the 13th.
“Both games will be held in Austria for a few obvious reasons. Due to the Covid-19 protocols presently in place and the proximity of the bulk of our team as well, Austria was seen as an ideal venue.”
Nigeria has been inactive since November 17, 2019 when the Super Eagles beat Lesotho 4-2 in an African Cup of Nations qualifier. In their last outing against Tunisia, the Super Eagles beat the North Africans 1-0 to win bronze at the 2019 Nations Cup and they lost by a lone goal in their last match against Ivory Coast in January 2015.