The Technical Adviser of the Super Eagles, German Gernot Rohr, has expressed his disappointment over the cancellation of the Nigeria versus Burkina Faso international friendly earlier scheduled for the Hive Stadium in London.
Rohr’s disappointment was hinged on his insistence to play tough and physical African opposition ahead of the Russia 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Cameroon, Algeria and Zambia.
The Chairman of the NFF Technical and Development Committee, Barrister Chris Green, disclosed in London: “We regret to announce that the second friendly match we had scheduled for the Super Eagles as part of preparations for the remaining matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying series and the beginning of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualification race would no longer take place on Monday, 27th March 2017.
“The match in question is called off due to no fault of either the organisers or the Nigeria Football Federation. We will announce further plans for the Super Eagles’ preparation for these two important qualifying campaigns in due course.”
There is no British Embassy in Ouagadougou, and officials of the Federation Burkinabe de Football had been shuttling between Accra and Ouagadougou for visa processing.
Sources disclosed that the Embassy in Accra told the Burkinabes last week to proceed to Morocco (where the Etalons played the Atlas Lions on Friday) and that the visas would be issued there.
The visa problem is, however, not the only obstacle against the match as the schedule appears to have also come short of FIFA’s rule which stipulates that teams cannot play in two different continents within short intervals as the teams are required to have at least a two-day rest after travelling to another continent.
The stallions lost 2-0 to Atlas Lions of Morocco at the Stade de Marrakech on Friday. If the FIFA rule is to be followed. It means the team will have Saturday and Sunday to rest before heading to London and may not be able to arrive early enough to face waiting Eagles.