Golden Eaglets Head coach, Garba Manu
The eagerly awaited first round, second leg 2013 African qualifier between Nigeria and Niger has been postponed till Sunday, September 23, 2012.
The match earlier fixed for Saturday was shifted at the instance of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) for logistical purposes especially to allow large turnout of spectators at the U.J Esuene Sports Stadium. Sunday's evenings are regarded as traditional football day in the Canaan City with throngs of people usually expected to fill the stands at the Calabar’s foremost stadium.
“We are happy that the NFF has shifted this game to Sunday in order to allow huge number of spectators to come and cheer us to victory,” said Suleiman Abubakar, the Golden Eaglets’ coordinator.
“Moving the game to Sunday is a good decision since there are less business activities and those who might have gone to church have opportunity of watching the game life at the stadium.”
In a related development, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has picked Algerian match officials for the Sunday’s second leg game.
The centre referee is Sofiane Bousetter while Bouabdallah Omari and Mohammed Bechirene would serve as Assistant Referee 1 and 2 respectively. The fourth official is Mehdi Charef while Ivorian Sinko Zeli who was the centre referee when Nigeria beat Namibia 4-0 in a Nations Cup qualifier in 2000 at home would serve as Match Commissioner.
Meanwhile, match tickets for the Golden Eaglets-Junior Menas match has been fixed for N200 for popular side. The covered seat would go for N500 while the State Box is as low as N1000.
The cheap price tickets, according to officials, are to encourage a huge turnout of spectators to watch the Nigerian youngsters in their first qualifier on home soil in Calabar.
Meanwhile, the Golden Eaglets have been told explicitly that the only way they can make it to the top of their trade was to shun undisciplined conducts.
This much was stated by Mr. Patrick Ugbe, the Cross River State’s Commissioner for Sports and Youth Development after watching the team’s midday training session at the practice pitch of the U.J Esuene Stadium in Calabar on Tuesday.
The commissioner said tight duty schedule had prevented him from seeing the team upon their return from Niamey where they recorded a 4-1 win against Junior Menas of Niger.