Nigeria ask FIFA for qualifying reschedule
Fans celebrate Nigeria football team's victory over Ivory Coast to advance into semi final of the 2013 African Cup of Nations on February 3, 2013 in Lagos. Nigeria have asked FIFA to reschedule their World Cup qualifiers in June for fairness, arguing that all games in their group be played on the same day.
Nigeria are top of their qualifying group on five points from three matches with Malawi also on five points but with an inferior goal difference.
Last week, FIFA adjusted Nigeria World Cup qualifiers because of their participation at the FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil.
This meant the African champions will play Kenya in Nairobi on Wednesday, June 5, and then take on Namibia in Windhoek on Wednesday, June 12, before flying to Brazil for the Confederations Cup.
Nigeria have now proposed that their Group F matches as well as those involving closest rivals Malawi be played on the same day. This would either be on June 5 and 12 or the original dates of June 8 and 15.
The formal complaint to FIFA was made by Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) general secretary Musa Amadu.
"We make this request in the interest of fairness, as at the moment, Nigeria and Malawi have same number of points (five) and for Nigeria to play two days before Malawi in each of the two important qualifying games in June will give undue advantage to the Malawians," said Amadu.
"We see the FIFA Confederations Cup as a key tournament, but we also know we have to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup finals as priority.
"It is important to us to go to the FIFA Confederations Cup and then return to Brazil a year later for the FIFA World Cup finals."