Pinnick: Eagles to Play Four Friendlies Before World Cup

0

* England, Nigeria clash scheduled for June 2 at Wembley

Duro Ikhazuagbe
As part of Nigeria’s build up to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has confirmed that four international friendlies have been lined up for the Super Eagles.

Speaking at the final of the NFF/Zenith Bank Under-15 Football Tournament at the Agege Stadium in Lagos on Tuesday, President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, confirmed that Eagles were going to take on the Three Lions of England at the Wembley Stadium on June 2, 2018.

He also revealed that another international friendly match has been fixed for May 27 for Eagles but did not confirm the country.
The NFF chief further hinted what would have been a fifth friendly fixed on June 6 was cancelled because of its closeness to June 16,the date Nigeria will play her opening group game against Croatia at the Kaliningrad Stadium in Kaliningrad, Russia.

“The fear of injuries also necessitated the cancellation of the June 6 date. The game will ordinarily have come up two days after the final 23-player squad lists would have been submitted. We cannot afford to take that risk,” stressed Pinnick who is also a CAF executive committee member.

Meanwhile, up to three-quarters of Moscow’s hotel rooms have been already reserved for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, whereas only three weeks ago, this figure was 10 per cent lower, Head of the Moscow City Department of Sport and Tourism, Nikolay Gulyaev, said at a news conference yesterday.
Most Moscow hotel reservations for the FIFA 2018 World Cup were made by fans from US, China and Mexico.

“I would not try to predict how this amount is divided up between foreign and Russian fans, however (I could suggest) that the majority are Russians up to 75 per cent of hotels have been booked for these dates (2018 FIFA World Cup), but three weeks ago, before the World Cup draw, it was 10 per cent lower. The price levels are as follows: a one-star hotel room would cost about 5,000 rubles ($85), while a five star accommodation would run for 50,000 rubles ($850) per night,” the public official said.

“Currently, Moscow has 1,183 hotels available for booking, at different rating levels. Next year, we’ll have even more hotels on offer and
will open new accommodation sites. We are monitoring the prices and have already revealed 33 cases of price gouging, specifically for the dates of the championship. We registered similar cases of price spikes during the recent FIFA Confederations Cup, then we were able to convince the hotels to scale down the prices. However, the temptation still remains high,” Gulyaev noted.

The 2018 Russia-hosted FIFA World Cup will take place in 11 Russian cities from June 14 to July 15 next year.
Nigeria is drawn in Group D and will open her campaign against Croatia. This will be followed by Iceland on June 22 at the Volgograd Arena in Volgograd while a fifth World Cup group game against Argentina will hold at the Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg on June 26.