International

Nigeria - Bolivia chickened out

2015-03-20 10:36
Stephen Keshi (Supplied)

Cape Town - Nigeria's Football Federation (NFF) has accused Bolivia of having "chickened out" of a March 25 international friendly and said the South Americans' excuses "do not hold any water."

Bolivia said it had pulled out due to concerns over security in Nigeria where Islamist militants Boko Haram have killed thousands of people in the northeast over a six-year period.

Nigeria have lined up Uganda to replace Bolivia for the game in Uyo, which is in the south east of Nigeria, on March 25, the NFF said on its official website.

"Uganda replaces Bolivia, who chickened out at the eleventh hour despite signing a contract with the NFF and sending a list of its delegation for visa-on-arrival. Their excuses do not hold any water," said the federation's match agent Jairo Pachon.

"But we have spoken to our lawyers and will approach FIFA on the matter. However, we are happy to have been able to secure a team with even higher ranking than Bolivia.

"We certainly will have time to deal with the Bolivia matter in a few days, but our concentration has been on getting a replacement," Pachon was quoted as saying by the NFF.

Uganda are ranked 74th compared to 92nd for Bolivia.

Bolivia's FBF said on Tuesday it would not travel Nigeria for the match "owing to the civil war problem which Nigeria is passing through."

It said it wanted to "preserve the physical integrity of the players, coaching staff and directors."

Boko Haram has killed thousands of people in an insurgency to carve out an Islamic state in northeastern Nigeria.

The group, which until the start of this year controlled territory the size of Belgium, has been forced back in recent weeks following a regional offensive.

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