Gernot Rohr’s men will now face the reigning African champions in Austria after the Elephants pulled out on Tuesday
Reigning African champions Algeria have been lined up for an international friendly with three-time continental kings Nigeria.
Gernot Rohr’s men were billed to take on Cote d’Ivoire on October 9 in Austria before facing Tunisia at the same venue four days later.
However, that will not happen as the West African country, through the Federation Ivorienne de Football, wrote to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) that they would be unable to send a team to the European country for the encounter due to internal problems.
In a positive twist of fate, Algeria has accepted to try Nigeria for size on the same date at the Jacques Lemans Arena.
“We have permission from our government to travel from Algeria to Austria and our country has reopened international flights,” wrote Mohamed Saad, general secretary of the Federation Algerienne de Football as per a statement from the NFF.
“We also would like to confirm that Fifa match agent Me Jairo Pachon is authorised to carry on all the required work and planning in Austria in order to stage this event.”
That encounter would be the fourth meeting between the Super Eagles and the Desert Foxes in three years.
A brace from Inter Milan wing-back Victor Moses and John Obi Mikel propelled the team to a 3-1 triumph over the North African in third round first leg of the 2018 Fifa World Cup qualification at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium.
Although the second leg ended 1-1 at the Stade Mohamed Hamlaoui, Constantine, Fifa awarded the game to Algeria, while the NFF was fined for fielding Abdullahi Shehu, who was meant to serve a suspended following yellow card offences against Swaziland and Zambia.
The most recent outing saw Djamel Belmadi’s men defeat Nigeria 2-1 en route to winning the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt thanks to an own goal by William Troost-Ekong and Riyad Mahrez’s goal, with Odion Ighalo’s strike rendered as a mere consolation.
With the Eagles having a different crop of players, they would be hoping to avenge their painful defeat at the Cairo International Stadium.
Since defeating Lesotho 4-2 in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at Maseru’s Setsoto Stadium on November 17, 2019, the Super Eagles are yet to play a match in 2020 owing to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
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