The friendly match between Nigeria’s Super Eagles and the Etallons of Burkina Faso has been put off, officials have said.
The game was fixed for Monday night at the same venue where the Eagles played Senegal on Thursday.
But reports from London and some others credited to the Burkinabe Football Federation suggest that Monday’s game has been put off.
French website, AFRIK Foot, reports that Burkina Faso did not give any reasons for pulling off Monday’s game.
Supersports.com also reported that the match was cancelled as “visa issues have hampered the arrival of the Etalons to London for the game”.
The NFF has been silent on the reported cancellation as efforts made to have them confirm or deny the new development have not been successful.
Efforts to reach the NFF spokesperson, Ademola Olajire, were unsuccessful as his phone lines were off. He was yet to respond to a mail and a text message sent to him.
But PREMIUM TIMES learnt that Nigerian officials are scampering to get an emergency replacement match to test the Eagles on Monday night.
While the major reason given for the said cancellation of Burkina Faso game borders around non-issuance of visas to a greater majority of the Etallons squad, it has also emerged that the NFF and its match agent may have also fallen short of FIFA rules and regulation.
The FIFA rule frowns on teams playing games in two different continents within the current time frame, as it is required for teams to have at least a two-day rest after travelling to another continent.
With the Burkina Faso team playing Morocco late Friday night, they would not have arrived earlier than Saturday in London.
This means they would have fallen short of the FIFA provisions if they went ahead with Eagles friendly on Monday as originally planned.
When PREMIUM TIMES had a chat with Felix Awogu, the general manager of SuperSport West Africa, the company that usually televises games involving the Super Eagles, he expressed reservations about the game.
For him, it would be ridiculing to go to town advertising that a game will be aired live only for same not to be shown.
“We just didn’t want to bid for the rights for several reasons, there were some uncertainties and that is not good for us, you can see how the teams have been struggling to get visas into London, we can’t be promoting that we will show a match which at the end cannot hold due to some reasons” Awogu reiterated.
SuperSports.com quoted sources in the Eagles camp as saying that Burkina Faso was willing to go ahead with the game if the Eagles could fly to Morocco for the game, but Nigeria turned down that option.
The games against Senegal and Burkina Faso were arranged to get the Eagles prepared for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers which starts in June, and also the 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Cameroon in August.