Bafana Bafana

SA v Nigeria clash in doubt

2011-06-21 14:41
A top SAFA official has confessed that a proposed friendly between South Africa and Nigeria in August has not been cast in stone.

SAFA president Kirsten Nematandani has already gone on record to say the Nigeria friendly will provide Bafana with the ideal preparation for the two remaining 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying games against Niger and Sierra Leone.

But the official - who spoke to on condition that he remains anonymous - and his comments have thrown a spanner in the works as he revealed the association is not sure if they have a signed contract with the correct Nigerian football body.

In recent times, Nigeria's director general of the National Sports Commission, Dr. Patrick Ekeji, has reportedly disclosed that FIFA will intervene in the crisis between parallel bodies - the Nigeria Football Association (NFA) led by Harisson Jala and the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) led by Alhaji Aminu Maigari.

FIFA recognises the Nigeria Football Federation, but the Nigeria Football Association, which is considered a rebel group, apparently has the backing of powerful people in the corridors of power.

The SAFA official who spoke to this site has admitted that the local association's top brass are not exactly sure if they dealt with the right leaders of Nigerian football in securing the friendly, hence SAFA are yet to release an official statement confirming the friendly.

"I can tell you it appears there are two federations in Nigeria and you can establish those facts for yourself. There is Nigeria Football Federation and also the Nigeria Football Association and we are not sure which one is legit," the official admitted.

"We have a contract with one of these, but I can't recall with which one exactly so up until we are sure it is the one that is recognised we will not release a statement.

"The interesting part is that on the same day that we intend to play Nigeria we have heard that the same Nigeria will be playing against Ghana."

He added: "Preferably, try to speak to our CEO (Pinky Lehoko) because she is the one who can establish some of the facts.

"What I know is that we have a contract, but whether we have it with Nigeria's recognised football body is another question and it creates problems."

Despite numerous attempts to get comment from Lehoko, our attempts were in vain.

Read more on:    safa  |  kirsten nematandani


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