By Albert Akota
The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying series Matchday 2 encounter between the Super Eagles and the Seychelles National Team, known as Pirates, will take place on Saturday, September 8, as against the widely circulated date of Friday, September 7.
The Seychelles Football Federation has confirmed the date in a correspondence with the Nigeria Football Federation.
Georges Bibi, the Chief Executive Officer/General Secretary of the Seychelles Football Federation, in a mail to NFF’s Director of Competitions, Ayobola Oyeyode, also disclosed that the match will be played at the Stade Linite on the Mahe island (home to the capital city, Victoria), starting from 4.30 pm Seychelles time (1.30 pm Nigeria time).
Seychelles is an archipelago of 115 islands on the western Indian Ocean, off East Africa, and is home to about 100,000 people.
Next week’s clash is crucial to both the Eagles and the Pirates, both teams having lost their opening games in the series.
The Eagles lost 0-2 to South Africa in Uyo on June 10, 2017. A day earlier, the Pirates were poleaxed 5-1 by Libya’s Mediterranean Knights at the Stade Chedly Zouiten in Tunisia’s capital.
Presently, Libya’s Knights top the Group E, followed by South Africa’s Bafana Bafana, with the Eagles in third place and the Pirates bottom.
At its executive meeting inside the NFF Secretariat, Abuja on Monday, the NFF made some resolutions.
“For ease of logistics and in consideration of convenience… the players (as well as team officials not based in Nigeria) fly directly into Seychelles from their bases in Europe while the one player from Nigeria and Nigeria –based match officials fly from Nigeria aboard commercial aircraft.”
Nigeria since winning the 2013 AFCON have failed to qualify for the two subsequent editions in 2015 and 2017.