Super Eagles’ friendly with the Etalons of Burkina Faso scheduled for Monday in London has been called off after several Burkina Faso players failed to gain visas to enter the United Kingdom.
The Eagles drew 1-1 with Senegal on Thursday night after Kelechi Iheanacho’s late penalty cancelled out Moussa Sow’s opening goal at the Hive Stadium in London, and were set to play the second friendly on Monday.
The matches were scheduled as part of Nigeria’s build-up for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against South Africa in June and the World Cup qualifier against Cameroon later in the year.
According to a statement by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), the Chairman of the Technical and Development Committee, Chris Green, said:
“We regret to announce that the second friendly match we had scheduled for the Super Eagles as part of preparations for the remaining matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying series and the beginning of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualification race would no longer take place on Monday, 27th March 2017.
“The match in question is called off due to no fault of either the organisers or the Nigeria Football Federation. We will announce further plans for the Super Eagles’ preparation for these two important qualifying campaigns in due course.”
In addition, the NFF President and CAF Executive Committee member, Amaju Pinnick, was unhappy with the development but stated that the objectives of satisfying the technical team’s desire of squaring up against tough, physical African opposition and fostering team bonding and organisation were achieved.
“The Technical Adviser (Gernot Rohr) wanted to play very physical African teams, as part of the preparations for the World Cup qualifying matches against Cameroon, and we duly fulfilled that with the arrangements we made for Senegal and Burkina Faso,” Pinnick said.
“Unfortunately, some of the Burkinabe players could not secure entry visas into the UK. It is nobody’s fault. Our joy is that we were able to play Senegal and got a fair result with a depleted squad, and also the objectives of team bonding, team building, team discipline and further imparting the Technical Adviser’s philosophy to the group have been well served.
“The Technical Adviser has also been able to look at a few more options, and our strength-in-depth is looking very good.”
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