Rohr excited as NFF confirms England friendly

Posted on Jan 11 2018 - 4:03am by admin

Festus Abu

The Nigeria Football Federation  on Wednesday confirmed that  the  Super Eagles would face  England in a friendly affair  at Wembley Stadium in London on June 2.

England manager Gareth Southgate also confirmed the  encounter as well as the June 7 date against Costa Rica at Leeds United’s Elland Road Stadium.

The match will be only the third between both Nigeria and England, who are preparing for the Russia 2018  World Cup.  Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr expressed his delight at the opportunity to lead his charges against the 1966 world champions ahead of the World Cup.

Reports claim Southgate needs the clash to prepare his team for their World Cup fixture against Tunisia in Volograd on June 18.

NFF 1st  vice-president Seyi Akinwunmi  said the federation was happy with the development.

He told,  “The match is now confirmed. “Now, we are happy to say that it is all sealed. Certainly, it is going to be a big match, between two countries of remarkable historical affinity and similarities.

“We have other matches and programmes for the team, and we will soon roll out the entire plan for the  matches, camping sites and training camps.”

The NFF said the friendly was initiated in 2015 when  the president of the federation  Amaju Pinnick met with  former  The FA  chairman Greg Dyke in London. The body said Pinnick and Shehu Dikko (who is also chairman of the NFF Marketing, Sponsorship and TV Rights Committee) later met with  the current chairman  of The FA Greg Clarke in London.

“One of the promises made by Pinnick at the outset  of his administration was that he would actualise a match between Nigeria and England. That has now become a reality –  another promise fulfilled,” the NFF said.

Rohr told,  “This is good news for myself and the entire team. England are very strong currently and I believe they will give us a very good match. We will be able to test our readiness for the World Cup when we meet the Three Lions at Wembley.”

While Nigeria  play  Croatia, Iceland and Argentina in Group D,  England will take on  Belgium, Panama and Tunisia in Group G in Russia.

“We’re going into a World Cup where we will play African and Central American opposition so we get that with the games against Nigeria and Costa Rica, but it’s not just about the games we’ve got in the group but hopefully beyond that as well,” AFP quoted Southgate as saying on Tuesday.

“We want to expose the team to different styles and different experiences.”

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