Tuesday Jan 01, 2019. 09:15
The Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) is reportedly close to agreeing a deal for their upcoming matches against the Seychelles and Egypt to be held at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba.
Nigeria will face the island minnows in their final 2019 Africa Cup of Nations group stage qualifier on March 21, before taking on the Pharaohs in an international friendly five days later.
The Super Eagles’ clash against the Seychelles is a dead rubber (Nigeria have already secured top spot and qualification for the finals, while their opponents cannot reach the AFCON), while the meeting with the Pharaohs (who have also secured qualification) is seen as a tune-up for the continental finals in June.
Nigeria’s This Day quotes an unnamed NFF source, which claims that the Federation is closing in on an agreement to take the games to Asaba, with the Delta State Government agreeing to put up 70 percent of the costs.
“We have reached the final phase of discussion and all seem to be done deal as the Asaba stadium will stage the matches all things been equal,” said the official.
“When Asaba hosted the African Athletic Championships, cynics lampooned the governor for the huge amount spent to stage the five-day event that was engulfed by many flaws but the presence of top athletes in the continent at the event boosted tourism not only in Asaba but Delta State as a whole.”
Should the matches be awarded to the Stephen Keshi Stadium, it will go against the wishes of manager Gernot Rohr, who has complained about the poor state of the playing surface and the unusual position of the changing rooms in the past.