Nigeria and two-time world champions Argentina will square up in a an international friendly in the Russian city of Krasnodar on Tuesday, 14th November the Nigeria Football Federation confirmed on Saturday. The venue is the Krasnodar Arena Stadium, Extrasportsnigeria.com reports.
NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, said nearly all arrangements have been concluded with regards to the big match, subject to approval by the world football ruling body, FIFA and agreeable flight arrangements. He added that at least four other countries were turned down before accepting to face Lionel Messi’s Argentina.
He said, “We have had long and fruitful talks, and we can say that we have an agreement. We await the approval by FIFA and also, we have to agree on the flight arrangements that would be comfortable for the players and crew.
“The match will come up on 14th November, four days after the Super Eagles’ final 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying match away to Algeria. We had offers from teams like Iran, Saudi Arabia and Morocco but we have opted for the Argentines.”
The Eagles take on Algeria’s Fennecs in what is no more than an academic exercise, at the Stade Mohamed Hamlaoui in Constantine on Friday, 10th November.
Nigeria and Argentina played two friendly matches in 2011, the first in Abuja in June ending 4-1 in favour of the Super Eagles. The Albiceleste trumped the second encounter 3-1 in Dhaka, Bangladesh three months later.
NFF’s FIFA Match Agent Jairo Pachon of Eurodata Sport, who also organized the friendly matches with the Argentines in 2011 and has been working with Nigerian national teams since 2009, told thenff.com, “We are very pleased to be able to deliver such a high-profile game to celebrate the Super Eagles’ 2018 World Cup qualification.
“It was a lot of work over the past week but we are happy this has become reality. We will, in due course, reveal the Nigerian sponsor of the match who will have the match rights in Nigeria.”
While Argentina qualified for Russia on the final day of the South American qualification campaign, the Eagles reached Russia with a match to spare.
Nigeria have had to confront Argentina in four of its previous five FIFA World Cup appearances, starting with a 2-1 defeat in Boston, USA in the African team’s debut in 1994. Argentina won another group phase clash 1-0 in Ibaraki, Japan in 2002, won a similar encounter by the same margin in Johannesburg, South Africa eight years later and then edged the Eagles 3-2 in Porto Alegre, Brazil in 2014.
Other famous encounters between both nations include two final matches of the Olympic Men’s Football Tournament – Nigeria edging it in 1996 in America and the Argies winning by the odd goal in China 12 years later.
Argentina will clash will take on World Cup hosts Russia in a friendly on 10th November while the Eagles are playing Algeria in Constantine.