Nigeria Versus Argentina Friendly Set to Be Revived by Organisers

Nigeria Versus Argentina Friendly Set to Be Revived by Organisers

Chukwu Ikechukwu
updated at February 13, 2024 at 3:22 PM
In this article:
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  • The Super Eagles proposed friendly with Argentina is not totally over
  • Organisers are in negotiations with China to revive the friendly game
  • The game was cancelled after fans hit out at Argentina captain Lionel Messi

Nigeria's much-anticipated friendly tie against world champions Argentina is set to be revived just a week after the Chinese government cancelled the match.

Chinese fans had shown their frustration against Lionel Messi following the Argentina captain's refusal to play in Inter Miami’s friendly in Hong Kong, leading to the cancellation of the friendly game.

Nigeria, Super Eagles, Argentina, AFCON
The Super Eagles finished second in the recently concluded Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast. Photo by MB Media.
Source: Getty Images

According to Soccernet, the organisers are actively engaged in discussions with the Chinese government, aiming to sway their decision and secure permission for the friendly to be played within the country.

If clearance is rejected, contingency measures are already in place, with organisers looking into alternate venues for the friendly game. The bargaining process is still dynamic, with developments expected as conversations progress.

Argentina was billed to take on the Super Eagles and reigning Africa Cup of Nations champions Ivory Coast in March before the Chinese government called off the games.

How Messi angered China fans

Lionel Messi had been set to play in a friendly in Hong Kong for his club Inter Miami, but the 36-year-old did not play a single minute of the match, he instead remained on the bench for its entirety, Eurosport reports.

That decision elicited whistles, jeers and calls for refunds from 40,000 sold-out Chinese fans who had expected the Argentina captain to take the pitch, leading Messi to come out and say that he wanted to play but could not do so due to a hamstring injury.

The Hong Kong authorities earlier said that Messi was scheduled to play 45 minutes in Inter Miami's game against a League XI all-star, which the Major League Soccer club won 4-1.

NFF advised to sack Peseiro

Earlier, Sports Brief reported that ex-Nigerian goalkeeper Idah Peterside has advocated for the dismissal of Super Eagles coach Jose Peseiro despite his renowned success at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.

The 63-year-old manager masterminded Nigeria to their first AFCON final in over a decade, but the Super Eagles were beaten 2-1 by hosts Ivory Coast.

Peterside has questioned Peseiro's defensive tactics in the competition and believes he is not the proper manager for the Super Eagles.

Chukwu Ikechukwu photo
Chukwu Ikechukwu
Chukwu Ikechukwu Godwin is a journalist with over 9 years of experience in the Nigerian media industry. He has worked both in Radio (Today FM, Rhythm FM, Wish FM) and Television (Silverbird TV) as a Sports Analyst..