NIGERIAN Football Federation (NFF) officials are planning to step up their World Cup preparations plans for the Super Eagles with an audacious bid to play an extra friendly game against Germany in June in addition to the proposed matches against Cameroon and Senegal.
Already, NFF officials have commenced talks with the Cameroonian and Senegalese football associations about the prospect of the Super Eagles playing friendlies against them during the two June Fifa windows. Up until last week, Nigeria was billed to play Liberia in a World Cup qualifier on June 6 and then face the Central African Republic three days later in the second qualifier but because the games have been postponed, friendlies needed to be organised to fill the vacuum.
At the request of Confederation of African Football (Caf), Fifa has postponed Africa’s 2022 World Cup qualifiers scheduled for June until September, so that work can be completed on some of the stadia that do not meet international standards yet. Fifa recently published its list of World Cup-approved stadia but a total of 10 nations of the 40 taking part in the qualifying campaign face the prospect of hosting matches next month outside their borders because their facilities did not make the cut.
With the European Championships starting in June as the season ends, international teams will be available for matches, so the NFF is trying to ensure the Eagles have a full schedule. Over the weekend, contact was made with the German football association to see if a third match could be arranged for the Eagles in June.
Fifa has officially designated June 3 to 11 as an international friendly window after which the European Championships start. Starting on Friday June 11 2021, the tournament will kick off with 24 teams playing across 51 matches in 12 cities, with the final taking place at Wembley Stadium on Sunday July 11.
Known as Die Mannschaft, Germany, who got to the semi finals of the last European Championships in 2016, have been grouped with Portugal, France and Hungary this time around. A pre-tournament game against the Super Eagles will be seen as good preparation for what is seen as the Euro 2021 Group of Death.
NFF officials are currently negotiating terms with the Senegalese and Cameroonian football associations and it is hoped that agreements will be finalised by the end of the month. Both of these games will be played in Austria and if the Germany match is agreed, it may mean the Super eagles taking a short trip across the border.