Bolivia withdraws from Nigeria friendly that prevented Ghana from playing Super Eagles

The Bolivian Football Federation [FBF] has pulled out of the friendly with Nigeria that prevented the Super Eagles from lining up another friendly against the Black Stars of Ghana.

Ghana were scheduled to face the Super Eagles in a friendly in London on 31 March but the planned friendly with the South American side prevented the game from being approved by FIFA.

The Super Eagles were scheduled to play Bolivia in Uyo on March 26.

But a new FIFA regulation prevented the Ghana game from taking place as national teams are not allowed to travel for more than five hours to two different continents for friendlies.

This law prevented the Super Eagles from making good their promise of playing Ghana in London since were scheduled to play Bolivia five days before the match.

Now the South Americans have decided that the West African country is not too safe for them to play their friendly match.

According to Bolivian newspaper La Razon, the country’s football federation has cited security concerns for opting out of the international friendly match with the Nigerians.

“The armed conflict in Nigeria has forced the cancellation of the game,” said president of the FBF, Carlos Chavez, in a press conference in Santa Cruz de la Sierra.

La Razon had earlier reported that the Bolivian FA was engaged in talks on how to withdraw from the friendly “with the intention of avoiding a financial penalty for breach of contract” though a decision has been taken to withdraw.

The Bolivian newspaper even quoted a source close to the leadership of the country’s football federation saying: “That game is not going to be held. Now the FBF seeks to raise a strong defence because Nigerians will protest and request sanctions for non-compliance.”

The South Americans are also citing the fact that the match comes up just two days before Nigeria’s general elections.

Chavez is now hoping that there will be no financial implication for breach of contract with Full Play and Fifa match agent Jairo Pachon.

Just last week, the Nigeria Football Federation [NFF] had announced that the game would go on after the Bolivian head coach, Mauricio Soria, called for the game to be cancelled.

“Nothing could be farther from the truth. As I speak with you, the Bolivia Football Federation has purchased return flight tickets for their players and officials and other delegation members to the match. Everything has been finalised and the delegation of Bolivia will arrive in Lagos on March 24, and then fly to Uyo for the match. Certainly, this kind of reporting does not augur well for well-laid programmes,” NFF General Secretary Musa Amadu had said.

Nigeria’s caretaker coach, Daniel Amokachi, has already named a 28-man squad for the friendly as well as against South Africa on March 29 at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit.

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