Again, Nigeria, Argentina friendly cancelled


By Ebenezer Bajela

For the second time, the highly-anticipated friendly match between Nigeria and world champions Argentina scheduled earlier scheduled for next month in the United States will no longer hold, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.

PUNCH Sports Extra had earlier reported that the two big football nations were billed to face each other in a friendly game, but the latest report confirmed that the clash has now been cancelled.

The much-awaited international friendly between reigning World Cup champions and the Super Eagles was confirmed to hold on March 26 at the Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, USA.

However, due to logistic issues the friendly game will not take place again and Argentina has already replaced Nigeria with Costa Rica on the planned date at the same venue.

“The game against Nigeria has been cancelled due to logistical problems. Argentina’s new opponent will be Costa Rica instead,” an X handle All About Argentina tweeted.

Ademola Olajire, Director of Communications, Nigeria Football Federation, however, denied any knowledge of the cancellation.

“I am not aware if the game has been cancelled because I don’t have the details yet,” Olajire told PUNCH Sports Extra.

It is the second time that the proposed friendly between the Eagles and Albiceleste has been called off.

Argentina initially announced the friendly clash against the three-time African champions for earlier this month, with the match set for China.

On February 10, the friendly was cancelled due to the fallout from Lionel Messi’s absence from his club, Inter Miami, in Hong Kong.

DailyMail on February 9 said Messi was expected to participate in an exhibition match between Inter Miami and a Hong Kong XI. Still, he did not play, leading to disappointment and anger among fans.

This disappointment extended to plans for Argentina’s upcoming matches against Nigeria in Hangzhou and Ivory Coast in Beijing.

Following Messi’s absence in Hong Kong, organisers offered fans a 50 per cent refund for tickets, but dissatisfaction persisted.

As a result, Hangzhou sports authorities announced the cancellation of the friendly match.