Nigeria to Play Bafana Bafana Month’s End

Nigeria will play South Africa in an international friendly match on 29 March, both country’s federations have confirmed.

The friendly against Bafana Banfana comes up three days after the Super Eagles duel with South Americans Bolivia at the Akwa Ibom International Stadium, Uyo.

President of the South African Football Association (Safa), Dr. Danny Jordan, in a press conference on Friday afternoon, confirmed Nigeria as Bafana’s next opponent in an encounter billed for the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit.

Super Eagles Forward Gbolahan Salami in a Heated Scuffle With Bafana Bafana Players at the Cape Town Stadium.
Super Eagles Forward Gbolahan Salami in a Heated Scuffle With Bafana Bafana Players at the Cape Town Stadium.

“There’s a lot of history between South Africa and Nigeria and among all of this, we will remain friends,” Jordan said.

“The match that we looked at was Argentina. But they were clear that it’s the Cup of Nations for South America and hence it did not happen. Hence we started engaging Nigeria.”

Three-time African champions Nigeria were originally due to play the Black Stars of Ghana in London before Fifa canceled that friendly, citing the long distance of air travel between proposed venue and venue of both country’s previous friendlies (26 March).

The games will help the Eagles prepare for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations and 2018 World Cup qualifiers.

South Africa are yet to defeat Nigeria in a competitive match. The closest they have fared ended in a 2-2 draw in Uyo last November in a 2015 Africa Cup of Nations final qualifier- a result which prevented the Eagles from making the finals in Equatorial Guinea as then defending champions.

Bafana’s only win in this fixture came in 2004 in a Nelson Mandela Challenge Cup.

Vice-president of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi, who also graced the press conference added: “Disappointed that we did not qualify for Afcon but more than anything, it was a wake up call.

“We did not look at South Africa as a soft spot and we are more than happy to play Bafana Bafana.”

The proposed 29 March friendly will be the 12th meeting between both nations, with Nigeria dominating their head-to-head record (W7, D3, L1).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *