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NFF and South African FA agree to play Eagles/Bafana March 29 game in Nelspruit


altNIGERIAN Football Federation (NFF) officials and their South African counterparts have reached an agreement to play the March 29 proposed friendly match between the Super Eagles and Bafana Bafana at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit.

On March 29, NFF officials had planned to play a match against Ghana in London as part of their rebuilding plan for the Super Eagles. Three days before the game, the Eagles will face Bolivia at home in a friendly match at the newly-build Akwa Ibom Stadium in Uyo on March 26.  

However, Fifa stepped in and refused to authorise the London game against Ghana, saying no team should play two games in three days across different continents. This prompted the NFF to quickly search for a new opponent and although a game has been agreed with the South Africans, but the venue of the match was yet to be agreed.

Yesterday, officials from both sides agreed to play the game in Nelspruit, one of the stadia that hosted the World Cup in 2010. It will be the first time the two sides meet since their 2-2 draw in Uyo which resulted in Nigeria failing to qualify for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations finals which took place in Equatorial Guinea.

Nigeria has taken to the pitch at the venue before during the 2013 African Cup of Nations when the Eagles played two 1-1 draws against Burkina Faso and Zambia. Both Nigerian and South Africa are preparing for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers and the 2018 World Cup qualifying series, so will be using the match to try out new players.

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