March 30, 2010

NFA lines up Columbia, Cyprus for Eagles

By Jacob Ajom
Nigeria World Cup bound national team would be playing at least two friendly matches before their final movement to Durban, South Africa.

Addressing the sporting press Tuesday in Lagos, President of the Nigeria Football Association, Sani Lulu Abdullahi, said a machinery was already in motion to get the team have a fruitful pre-tournament camping period in Europe.”By May 30th we should have played at least two matches.”

Said he, “we all know that there is no FIFA window for friendly matches between now and when the World Cup begins, but we are making arrangements to ensure the team is kept busy before the final selection of players by the coach,” Lulu said.

He confirmed that the first match would see the Eagles try their might against Columbia on April 30 in England. “We are also working on an arrangement for another match with either Cyprus or Iceland. Portugal too is on the cards,” the FA boss added.

Meanwhile, Lulu said coach Lars Lagerback had been compiling the list of players he want to take to camp in Europe. “The list would be based on those players he had met, watched them play and held discussions with. Very soon he will organise a get-together camp in Europe where he would see the players at close quarters. Then he would start trimming the list to the final squad for the World Cup.”

He further disclosed that the Eagles World Camp site in Durban was almost ready except for a few facilities.
“The camp has been approved by FIFA but we have given the management of the place a check list which I believe in the next couple of weeks should be ready.”

He further disclosed that the Nigerian Consul General in South Africa has assured he would be monitoring developments and report to the football house. “The good about the Durban camp is that the place is isolated and has limited number of rooms. The advantage is that the Nigerian contingent can occupy 90% of the rooms ther and there would be no distractions.”