• As the Crocodiles arrives today
• NFF assures adequate security
Super Eagles Manager, Gernot Rohr, may deploy a different set of players to meet Lesotho in their last group game of the Cameroon 2022 African Cup of Nations qualifier in Lagos tomorrow.
Nigeria qualified for the African Cup of Nations courtesy of a 1-0 defeat of Benin Republic in Porto Novo on Saturday. The team returned to Nigeria yesterday and will train today ahead of tomorrow’s match, which sources at the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), has described as a carnival that will be used to introduce the Super Eagles once again to Lagos fans.
NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, said at the weekend that the match against Lesotho is another opportunity for Lagos fans to watch the national team in an international engagement after a long absence from the state.
The senior national team has not played a competitive match in Lagos for over 20 years and the federation is said to be eager to see that the team begin their sojourn in the city on a winning note.
A Super Eagles source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told The Guardian yesterday that Coach Rohr has decided to give some of the players who did not feature in the Porto Novo game the opportunity to play tomorrow at the Teslim Balogun Stadium.
He said, “The quality in this team is so high that anybody can be chosen to play at any time. In every position, we have one or two players who can do the job excellently, but the manager is looking at giving some of the new players, including the returning Tyrone Ebuehi and one or two of the home-based players the opportunity to show what they can do. But there would be too many surprises in the lineup.”
The NFF yesterday disclosed that the Lesotho delegation would arrive in Lagos today, while the match commissioner and referees were expected in the country yesterday. The security officer and referees’ assessor have been in Lagos since Saturday.
Lesotho, who bravely held Sierra Leone to a scoreless draw in Maseru on Saturday, but are no longer in the running for a ticket to Cameroun, will have their official training at the Teslim Balogun Stadium this evening at 5.00 p.m.
Meanwhile, Lagos State Government and the NFF will decide how many fans would be allowed to watch the match against Lesotho.
NFF Director, Media, Ademola Olajire, told The Guardian yesterday that to avoid breaching CAF directives and COVID-19 protocol, the Lagos State government is fashioning guidelines on the 30 per cent spectators regulations stipulated by the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
“I don’t what the gate fees would be yet, but I know it would be affordable.
“The security arrangement will be handled by Lagos State and NFF and meetings on that area have commenced,” Olajire said.