The fear of kidnappers and abductors has led the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to ban both the country’s female team and the Under_20 team from playing friendly matches outside Nigeria’s Federal Capital city, Abuja
The Super Falcons are preparing to reclaim the African Women’s Championship they lost to Equatorial Guinea two years ago, later this month in South Africa, while the Flying Eagles take on Mauritius next week Sunday in the second leg of the African Youth Championship qualifier.
However, top Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) official, James Peters, has now informed that there was an embargo over the teams playing warm_up matches outside the country’s capital city following a surge in kidnappings across the country.
“It is not that we don’t have friendly matches for both the Super Falcons and Flying Eagles but we want to guard against a situation where any of the players would fall victim to kidnappers. That was why we don’t want the teams to leave Abuja and play friendly matches in other parts of the country,” former national team coach Peters said at the weekend/
“But we are not against teams coming to Abuja to play friendly matches against the two teams since it would help the teams in their preparations for their different programmes.”
Both teams have therefore been intensifying their preparations at the training pitch of Abuja National Stadium.
The Flying Eagles in particular recently undertook a playing tour of the eastern part of the country, where the rate of kidnappings has risen with over a dozen school children all under the age of 10 only recently released by government forces in Aba.
The Falcons are drawn in a first round group that includes hosts South Africa for the 2010 African Women’s Championship, which kicks off on October 29 in Johannesburg.
The Flying Eagles host Mauritius in a qualifier for the African Youth Championship in Libya next year.
The team led by coach John Obuh won the first clash 2-0 in Port Louis.