GAME OFF: 7 Super Eagles Friendlies Cancelled In Recent Years

GAME OFF: 7 Super Eagles Friendlies Cancelled In Recent Years

The proposed friendly between the Super Eagles and third-place finishers at the 2017 African Cup of Nations Burkina Faso did not hold on Monday as some players of the Stallions failed to secure entry visas to the United Kingdom.

As the latest international break ends on Tuesday,'s IZUCHUKWU OKOSI recalls seven international friendly matches that were supposed to be played by the Super Eagles in the past but were eventually cancelled for different reasons…

1.  Nigeria vs Brazil (in 2012)

The activities of terrorists Boko Haram in Northern Nigeria put paid to the proposed international friendly between Nigeria and Brazil in September 2012.

The Brazilians instead sought another African side for the friendly and thus settled for Bafana Bafana of South Africa.

The Nigeria Football Federation promised that the Nigeria versus Brazil friendly would still hold as planned but possibly not hold in Nigeria anymore but that promise was not fulfilled.

2. Nigeria vs Bolivia (in 2015)

The Super Eagles were billed to take on the Bolivian national team at the Akwa Ibom International Stadium on March 25, 2015 but the South Americans eventually turned down the invitation of the Nigeria Football Federation due to security reasons.

Then caretaker coach Daniel Amokachi had named his team for the friendly.

At a press conference in Santa Cruz few days to the proposed game, the president of the Bolivian Football Federation, Carlos Chavez, said armed conflicts in Nigeria as well as political tension forced them to cancel the match.

Nigeria would later face Uganda instead in Uyo.

3. Nigeria vs Egypt (in 2017)

Nigeria missed out from a place in the 2017 African Cup of Nations in Gabon, sadly after failing to defend the title they won in 2013 two years later (2015).

A friendly match against Egypt on January 9 in Dubai was on the cards as part of Egypt's build-up to the 2017 AFCON in Gabon which interestingly they eliminated Nigeria from.

The friendly was however called off because Nigeria could not fulfill the condition of parading the country’s top Europe-based professionals as it would not be played during a FIFA window.

4. Nigeria vs Ghana (in 2015)

FIFA cancelled a proposed friendly match between the Super Eagles and their West African rivals, the Black Stars of Ghana in 2015.

Both teams were scheduled to play a friendly game in London on March 29, 2015 but FIFA overruled the decision because the game would have breached their regulations if it had gone ahead.

A FIFA guideline for friendly games says: 'national teams can't play two of such matches within a three-day period,' across two continents.

Nigeria were billed to play Bolivia on March 26th in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, and would have travelled to the United Kingdom for the game against Ghana.

5. Nigeria vs Iran (in 2010)

A diplomatic spat between Nigeria and Iran prompted the cancellation of a friendly billed for November 17, 2010 in Tehran, capital of Iran.

The Nigeria Football Federation insisted that injuries to key players were responsible for the decision to pull out from the game but there was seemingly an underlying reason that went beyond football.

The  cancellation left the Iran Football Federation saddled with huge organisational costs. The Iranian Federation had paid for air tickets, hotels, training pitches and media rights and were unhappy at the timing of the cancellation, especially with tickets sold.

6. Nigeria vs Senegal (in 2006)

The Super Eagles were supposed to face Senegal in an international friendly in Beauvais, France on November 14, 2006 but the Nigeria Football Federation pulled out of the game because they were reportedly dissatisfied by the terms proposed by the organisers.

Senegal then coached by Henri Kasperczak were looking for some measure of revenge after the Super Eagles defeated them twice at the 2006 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, a group stage game and in the third-place play-off.

7.  Nigeria vs Cameroon (in 2010)

Nigeria could not honour a friendly game against Cameroon in 2010.

Former Super Eagles coach, Lars Lagerback, reportedly cost the Nigerian national team the chance to play against the Indomitable Lions in a friendly in May 2010, just a month to the FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

The Cameroon national side were keen to play the game in Abuja but Lagerback was said to have wanted the tie to hold in London.

The Cameroon Football Federation (FECAFOOT) however pointed out that logistic reasons was why they preferred to play in Abuja.

Lagerback further argued that he needed teams that had similarity in style with Argentina, South Korea and Greece, Nigeria's group opponents in the 2010 World Cup so a game with Colombia was instead organised.