Monday, April 08, 2013

Soccer-World Cup dates moved after Nigeria complain

REUTERS, Monday, April 8, 2013
LAGOS, April 8 (Reuters) - FIFA have moved dates of forthcoming African World Cup qualifiers to accommodate Nigeria's participation at the Confederation Cup and ensure no advantage accrues to their opponents.
The next two rounds of African zone Group F matches will take place on June 5 and 12, each brought ahead by three days "in order to ensure a swift and timely arrival of the African champion in Brazil," a FIFA media spokesman said on Monday.

After winning the African Nations Cup in February and qualifying for the eight-team tournament in Brazil, from June 15-30, Nigeria faced changes to their World Cup qualifying schedule and had key games in Kenya and Namibia pushed forward.

But Nigeria then complained their closest rivals Malawi, who share top place in the group with the Super Eagles, could gain an advantage because their matches would be played three days after Nigeria's.

FIFA have since ordered all matches now be played on the same day with Kenya hosting Nigeria and Malawi playing at home to Namibia on Wednesday, June 12, having been moved forward from June 8.

Nigeria then travel to Namibia and Malawi playing home again, this time to Kenya, on June 12 instead of June 15. (Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by John Mehaffey)
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