A 26-man delegation of the home-based National Team of Cote d’Ivoire will fly into Lagos on the evening of Wednesday next week, for Saturday’s 2014 African Nations Championship qualifying match against their Nigerian counterparts.
The NFF on Thursday received correspondence from the office of the General Secretary of Federation Ivoirienne de Football, confirming that the delegation would arrive the Murtala Muhammed International Airport aboard an Asky Airline flight at about 6.40pm on July 3.
Cote d’Ivoire hosted the inaugural edition of the African Nations Championship in 2009, won by Democratic Republic of Congo. Nigeria was absent at the finals, having been eliminated by Ghana.
The 2011 finals in Sudan also held without Nigeria, eliminated by Niger Republic, and was won by Tunisia.
Super Eagles’ Team Administrator, Enebi Achor, confirmed on Thursday that the 24 players invited by Coach Stephen Keshi are all expected to report at the Bolton White Apartments in Abuja on Sunday.
Saturday’s confrontation at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium will be the first meeting at senior level between both nations since Nigeria eliminated tournament favourites Cote d’Ivoire in the quarter finals of the Africa Cup of Nations finals in South Africa earlier in the year. Match-winner Sunday Mba is in Nigeria’s 24-man squad.
The Ivorians will depart Nigeria through Lagos on Sunday, less than 24 hours after the encounter.
– Sola Rogers (Twitter – @solarogers), News Bytes Sports Desk
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