NIGERIAN Football Federation (NFF) officials have commenced talks with the Cameroonian and Senegalese football associations about the prospect of the Super Eagles playing friendlies against them during the two June Fifa windows.
Up until last week, Nigeria was billed to play Liberia in a World Cup qualifier on June 6 and then face the Central African Republic three days later in the second qualifier. However, the Confederation of African Football (Caf) has postponed both matches until September and not wanting to waste the Fifa windows, the NFF has sought to fill the vacuum with friendlies.
Already, NFF officials have opened talks with Federation Camerounaise de Football (Fecafoot) about the prospect of playing a friendly in Austria. Bill Tchato, the Fecafoot general coordinator of the Cameroon national teams has confirmed that his federation is in talks with Senegal, Algeria and Ghana about playing a series of friendly games in Austria next month but nothing is finalised yet.
Mr Tchato said: “Nothing is tied up yet but discussions are underway with our agent who represents us in the negotiations. The Cameroonian and Nigerian federations are in negotiations and the match is scheduled for Austria.”
At the request of Caf, Fifa has postponed the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, earlier scheduled for June, to September so that work can be completed on some of the stadia that do not meet international standards yet. Fifa recently published its list of World Cup-approved stadia but a total of 10 nations of the 40 taking part in the qualifying campaign face the prospect of hosting matches next month outside their borders because their facilities did not make the cut.
By postponing the start of the qualifiers until September, these countries have now been given three months to bring their facilities up to scratch. Those affected include Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Namibia, Niger and Sierra Leone, whose stadia were not approved as Caf cracks down on poor infrastructure around the continent.
Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr confirmed that the two friendlies were being played, so as not to have players sitting around idle during the Fifa window. NFF officials confirmed that talks are also talking place with the Senegalese FA.