The Super Eagles will play four friendly games to put the players in top shape ahead of next year’s World Cup in Russia, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) revealed yesterday.
Apart from the friendly against Poland slated for March 23, 2018, the Eagles will play Three Lions of England on June 2, 2018 at Wembley, probably the team’s last friendly game before the World Cup in Russia.
Aside the games against Poland and England, the team is expected to play two other friendlies on March 27, 2018 and May 27, 2018 against yet to be named opponents
“Ordinarily we should be taking about five friendlies, but the fifth game is doubtful because it is too close to the World Cup proper,” disclosed President of the soccer federation, Amaju Pinnick yesterday in Lagos.
“Though the coach (Rohr) wants to use the fifth friendly as training, we are very mindful of the implication in terms of injury because by then we would have submitted the team list,” he added.
The NFF boss re-emphasised that the reason he contested the CAF Executive Committee seat was to secure Nigeria’s World Cup interest.
He noted that it would have been difficult, if not impossible for Nigeria to qualify for the World Cup if the old order at CAF had remained.
“I confided in some executive members of the NFF of the need to contest the CAF seat. I told them that if we did not qualify for the World Cup, we are finished. With Nigeria grouped alongside Cameroon, Algeria and Zambia, it would have been difficult upstaging Cameroon because of Issa Hayatou.
“This informed my decision to put my hat in the ring, I had to take the risk, and today it paid off. Running for CAF seat was not because of personal ambition but because of the desire to ensure that the Super Eagles qualified for the World Cup,” he said.