Nigeria’s friendly against Argentina has now been confirmed after FIFA gave the go-ahead for the November 14 clash.
The game in Krasnodar needed FIFA approval as it was being played on a different continent, and regulations not only call for at least two full calendar days between matches, but also that if the second game is a friendly being played in a separate confederation, then the flight time must not exceed five hours.
Nigeria play Algeria on November 10 in their final World Cup qualifier, before flying to Krasnodar in Russia for the friendly against Argentina. The squad are scheduled to travel to Russia on a chartered flight, which would keep the flying time well within the five-hour limit.
An NFF statement said FIFA’s approval was directed to the Football Union of Russia, addressed to the General Secretary, Aleksandr Alaev, and signed by FIFA’s Director of Competitions, Christian Unger.
The letter, dated 31 October 2017, reads: “In accordance with article 7 of the regulations, FIFA is happy to provide official authorisation for this men’s tier 1 international match.
“Please note that this authorisation is conditional upon FIFA receiving details of the referees who will officiate in the stated match. We will confirm authorisation once the referee details have been received and checked. We would like to remind you that only referees included in the 2017 FIFA Refereeing Lists can officiate in an international ‘A’ match.
“We would like to take this opportunity to remind you that in accordance with article 12 of the Regulations Governing International Matches, your association is required to ensure that a completed association report, list of players for both teams and the referee report are submitted to FIFA within 48 hours of each international ‘A’ match.”
The approval means Nigeria avoid the embarrassment of two years ago when a friendly against neighbours Ghana had to be cancelled. At the time, the Super Eagles were scheduled to play against Bolivia in Uyo then fly to London to play Ghana, but both games were eventually called off.