By Morakinyo Abodunrin
The much anticipated international friendly matches for the Super Eagles in October are hanging in the balance with words rife that the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) is yet to get authorization for the October double header in Austria.
Super Eagles are billed to clash with West African long-time rivals Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire on 9th October with the other fixture to be held four days later at the same venue against the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia whom they defeated 1-0 to clinch Bronze at the 2019 AFCON in Egypt.
But NationSport have learnt on good authority that the NFF is yet to get the green light for both encounters due to the prevailing strict COVID-19 regulations.
Though football has resumed fully in Europe with qualifiers for the UEFA Nations League in full swing as well as matches across various leagues, most countries have reportedly instituted stiffer COVID-10 protocols after two England’s national team players reportedly broke Iceland’s quarantine restrictions for visiting soccer teams while on international duty.
“The truth is that the NFF in conjunction with the organisers are still working on authorization from the government (for the friendly matches) and hopefully this would be sorted out soon,” a competent source told Nation Sport. “COVID-19 has changed everything but there is no need to worry.”
NationSport further gathered that the NFF is yet to interact with the Ministry of Youths and Sports Development as per the October friendly .
“ The NFA (NFF) is expected to brief the Ministry on the plans (for the friendly matches) which must be in line with all government guidelines regarding COVID-19, “ stated an aide to the Sport Minister Sunday Dare.
NFF president Amaju Pinnick announced on 2 September via his twitter handle that Super Eagles would face both Cote d’Ivoire and Tunisia in October but it remains to be seen if those games would go ahead.