FIFA Directive Forces Cancellation Of Nigeria Friendly Against Ghana

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Written by Peter Pedroncelli

The Nigerian Football Federation’s (NFF) plan to go ahead with an international friendly match against fierce African rivals Ghana at the end of March has been scuppered due to a FIFA directive which will not allow the encounter to take place.

According to regulations set out for national teams with regards to international friendly matches by FIFA, countries are not allowed to play two games across two continents in a three day period.

This is exactly what the Super Eagles were set to do, as a March 26 game against Bolivia in Uyo, Nigeria, was to be followed by the Black Stars fixture on Match 29 in London. This cannot happen according to the directive from football’s governing body, and because of this the interesting match up has been cancelled.

A great rivalry exists between the two West African nations, who have been important protagonists in recent Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournaments.

Nigeria won the 2013 edition of the Nations Cup, and while they did not qualify for the recently concluded competition in Equatorial Guinea, Ghana ended the 2015 AFCON as runners up following a penalty shootout loss to Cote D’Ivoire in the final.

Ghana’s last encounter with Nigeria took place in 2011 at the Vicarage Road, and the match ended in a goalless draw, but unfortunately it is unclear when the two will meet again in future.

Ghana will now be able to look into other options for the friendly international days to keep their national team well oiled and ready for the challenges that lie ahead.

Both African national teams are looking to prepare for the upcoming 2017 AFCON qualifiers in June and the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers beginning in October.