The secretary-general of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Dr Sanusi Mohammed has reeled out the soccer body’s gratitude to all persons and bodies that made it possible for a high-profile international friendly against Brazil to be sealed for the Super Eagles.
Sanusi pointed out that it is not easy to get a match against such a top class team, who are five times World Cup champions and have a star-studded squad, which the NFF scribe means it was a huge success for Nigeria to get a huge opportunity of successfully sealing a potentially explosive and historic fixture with the Samba Nation.
He went on to disclose that the Nigerian soccer governing body is also working hard at sealing a second friendly for the Eagles in October, which would be against an African side, in order to accord the team the chance of playing a build-up game before taking on Benin Republic and Lesotho in the 2021 Cup of Nations qualifiers.
He reckoned that, with the Eagles set to engage Benin Republic and Lesotho in back-to-back matches to kick-start their AFCON 2021 qualification campaign, it is only logical that they get to try out opposition from the continent as part of their preparations.
With that in view, Sanusi assured that The Glasshouse will also arrange a match with an African team for the Eagles, who will host The Squirrels of Benin Republic on 14th November and then fly to Maseru for their second encounter against The Crocodiles of Lesotho on 19th November.
Before both matches, Nigeria and Brazil will tango at Singapore National Stadium in Kallang on Sunday, 13th October, in what would be a second clash between both sides at senior level, after organizers of the 8th All-Africa Games of 2003 in Abuja also sealed a game with The Samba Boys in the Nigerian capital in June of that year, and they returned home as 3-0 winners.
Next month’s game will also come 23 years after Nigeria’s under-23 squad shocked Brazil, on their way to winning Africa’s first Olympic Games football gold m,edla, as the squad captained by Nwankwo Kanu spanked Le Selecao in the semi-finals at Athens Stadium in Georgia, USA.
The October 13 clash in Singapore will also be another stern test for Nigeria’s new breed stars, who came close to shocking their hosts, Ukraine in a friendly match in Dnipro a week ago, before bungling a two-goal lead to settle for a 2-2, and Sanusi says playing against Brazil will be another major source of exposure and development for the Eagles’ youthful side.
Sanusi retorted: “We are happy to have sealed this encounter with Brazil, the five-time champions of the world. It is not every day that you get to Brazil, and I think it is very good for our young team. The Nigeria Football Federation must also commend Eurodata Sport, our FIFA –licensed Match Agent, for pulling this off.
“Having said that, the focus now is on getting an African team for the Super Eagles as a second match for the FIFA window in October, ahead of their 2021 AFCON qualifying matches in November.”