Thursday, 3 September 2020

Nigeria to play Cote d’Ivoire and Tunisia in October


Nigeria's senior national team has announced friendly matches with Cote d’Ivoire and Tunisia.

Gernot Rohr’s team will take on the Elephants on October 9 in Austria and will then face the Carthage Eagles at the same venue four days later.

Since defeating Lesotho 4-2 in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at Maseru's Setsoto Stadium on November 17, 2019, the Super Eagles are yet to play a match in 2020 owing to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a series of tweets by the Nigeria Football Federation president Amaju Pinnick, the choice of European country was picked for ‘a few obvious reasons’.

“On the 9th of October, the Super Eagles will play former African champions, Cote d’Ivoire in a friendly game, then face another African giant and former champions Tunisia, four days later, on the 13th,” Pinnick tweeted.

“Both games will be held in Austria for a few obvious reasons. Due to the Covid-19 protocols presently in place and the proximity of the bulk of our team as well, Austria was seen as an ideal venue. 

“I’ll have to stress as well, that all costs will be borne by the football federations of both Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire, as well as Tunisia.”

Nigeria’s last meeting with Tunisia was at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations’ third-place match, where Odion Ighalo’s third-minute strike separated both teams at the Al Salam Stadium in Cairo.

Parading the Toure brothers, Serge Aurier, Eric Bailly and Serey Die, Herve Renard's Elephants caged the home-based Eagles 1-0 thanks to Salomon Kalou's 84th minute effort in an international friendly staged in Abu Dhabi on January 11, 2015 - that was the last meeting between both countries.

Pinnick also talked about the unfilled position of the technical director, appointment of coaches for the countries’ cadet teams as well as Africa’s most successful female team, Super Falcons.

“With regards to a coach for the Super Falcons, Africa’s biggest female football team, Phillips Consulting, in charge of the recruitment process, are putting the finishing touches to it and a coach will be announced soon. This also applies to coaches for the different cadres of our national teams.”

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