The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), yesterday, wrote to world football governing body, FIFA and the African body, CAF complaining about the tricky 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying games and the FIFA Confederations Cup, all billed for the month of June.
FIFA had last week adjusted Nigeria’s matches, meaning the Super Eagles will play Kenya in Nairobi on Wednesday, June 5 and take on Namibia in Windhoek on Wednesday, June 12, before flying to the FIFA Confederations Cup tournament in Brazil. Nigeria became Africa’s flagbearer at the tournament following her 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, June 5 and Wednesday, June 12, 2013 respectively. 2. That all the matches be reverted to the original dates of Saturday, June 8 and Saturday, June 15, 2013 respectively,” the letter signed by NFF General Secretary,
Barrister Musa Amadu, read. It means the Super Eagles will either play Kenya’s Harambee Stars and Namibia’s Brave Warriors at the same time and day, as Malawi will host Namibia and Kenya respectively, or the matches will 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 the 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 that we have to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup finals, as a 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.”