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CAF gives Nigeria reprieve, moves Eaglets/DR Congo clash to July 27

Abuja –  The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has moved the 2015 African U-17 Championship qualifying match between Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo from Sunday, July 20 to July 27.

CAF’s decision is a welcome relief to the Nigeria Football Association (NFA), whose officials patiently await positive communication from FIFA on the suspension clamped on the country on July 9.

The suspension was as a result of a court order barring the Aminu Maigari–led Executive Committee from running Nigerian football.

On Wednesday evening in Jos, the case was withdrawn by the plaintiff, Ruth Baribote, and on Thursday, the NFA communicated same to FIFA.

It had asked for the suspension be lifted, since the principal reason for the clampdown had been met.

In its letter to the NFA, the Federation Congolaise de Football Association (FECOFA), FECAFOOT and the match officials, CAF declared that it was granting the grace of seven days.

The continental football ruling body said this was done with high hopes that the suspension on Nigeria would be lifted in a couple of days.

“Following the suspension of NFA by FIFA few days ago, please be informed that CAF is hopeful that an end to this crisis will be found soon.

“However, in view of the upcoming match scheduled between the under-17 national teams of DR Congo and Nigeria on July 20 in Lubumbashi, we wish to grant a postponement.

“This is to ensure that the African youth players maintain their chance of playing competitive football for their respective countries.

“As such, please be informed that CAF decided to postpone the above-mentioned match from July 20 to July 27,” CAF said in the letter.

The match scheduled for the TP Mazembe Stadium in Lubumbashi is the first leg of a 2015 African U-17 Championship qualifying fixture.

It is Nigeria’s first step towards defending the world title she won in the United Arab Emirates last year.(NAN)


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