SA v Nigeria clash in doubt
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 Football365.co.za 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
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
Despite numerous attempts to get comment from Lehoko, our attempts were in vain.