By Richard Jideaka, Abuja:
Nigeria’s Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung, has insisted that the international friendly match between the Super Eagles and Congo DR in May can only be played outside Abuja if National Stadium is not ready, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
President of Nigeria Football Federation Amaju Pinnick had only last week declared that the match will take place at the Adokiye Amasimaka Stadium in Port Harcourt and went ahead to inspect the stadium with coach Gernot Rohr.
But speaking with media after the opening ceremony of grassroots sports festival in Abuja on Monday, Dalung said the idea to play the match in Abuja was to bid the team farewell to the World Cup in Russia and probably convince President Muhammadu Buhari to attend.
“We are looking at Port Harcourt if by then we are unable to complete work at the stadium here in Abuja,” Dalung said.
“As you can see here work has gone far. Port Harcourt remains our Plan B to host the farewell game. The ides is for the players to mop up the blessings and prayers of Nigerians.
“As for the team’s preparation, we are comfortable with the plans and government is also comfortable with the fund we requested and I believe all things being equal, we shall get deserved response as at when due.”
The Super Eagles, who will face Argentina, Croatia and Iceland at the Russia 2018 World Cup, will play friendly matches with Czech Republic and England after the DR Congo friendly.