Confirming the suspicions of many about the proposed preseason tour to Nigeria during which Arsenal Football Club of England was supposed to play the Nigerian National football team, Super Eagles, the club, in a release which appeared on the website of the club on Thursday have announced what they described as “postponing” the tour.
According to the release, “Arsenal Football Club has announced it is reluctantly postponing its proposed trip to Nigeria this summer… The Club has taken the decision as a result of complexities linked to the planned game against Nigeria on Saturday, August 5 in Abuja… ”
Statement from the marketing director of the club, Angus Kinnear, says “bringing a top-level club to an international market is always complicated and logistically challenging. With the proposed match in Nigeria planned for early August, we could not get comfortable on everything needed to satisfy our requirements, so we have reluctantly taken the decision to postpone the team’s visit.”
While the reason for the suspicion of most Nigerians is the civil unrest which has gripped most of the northern states of the country, the club made no suggestions whatsoever that this is the reason for their decision. However, they have promised to make it up to their fans in the region: “We have a huge and loyal following in Africa… we have a long-term commitment to Nigeria and we are already making plans for a visit next summer… In addition, we also have some exciting forthcoming activities planned with our commercial partners in Nigeria – Emirates, Airtel and Malta Guinness, which will kick off in the next few weeks”