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FIFA's rule puts Nigeria on cliff hanger

Posted by By Eno-Abasi Sunday on 2005/06/07 | Views: 317 |

FIFA's rule puts Nigeria on cliff hanger


WITH last Sunday's lacklustre performance by the Super Eagles of Nigeria in the World Cup/Nations Cup qualifier against the Amavubi Stars of Rwanda, the national team's hopes of being in Germany 2006 currently hangs on a delicate balance.

WITH last Sunday's lacklustre performance by the Super Eagles of Nigeria in the World Cup/Nations Cup qualifier against the Amavubi Stars of Rwanda, the national team's hopes of being in Germany 2006 currently hangs on a delicate balance.

In other words, if the World Cup qualifier ends today, the Angolan national team will qualify ahead of Eagles.

The new FIFA rule, which gives Angola the edge, stipulates that where there is a tie in points, goals difference cease to count or work in favour of the team with the highest goals advantage.

What now counts is the performance of both teams when they met. In this regard, the Angolans, who defeated their Nigerian counterparts in the first leg, will carry the day.

However, to take away the sword of Damocle that is hanging over its head, the Eagles need to trounce the Angolans by at least two goals to nothing when both meet in Kano in a forthnight.

Nigeria and Angola currently are on 14 points each. Nigeria, which lost only to Angola, has a superior goals difference of +7, having won four and drawn two. Nigeria so far has scored a total of 10 goals conceeding only three.

Angola, on the other hand, has played seven matches like Nigeria, has won four and lost two. It has drawn only one match, but succeeded in scoring seven goals conceeding five in the process.

Meanwhile, tickets for the all important encounter between the two top teams in group 4 slated for June 18 will be on sale six days to the match.

Chief Executive of Megamix, the firm which bought the match's right, Alhaji Shu'abibu Ahmad, while speaking in Kano, said six banks have been picked for the ticket sales.

They include FSB International Bank, Platinum Bank, NAL Bank Plc, Guardian Express Bank, New Nigerian Bank Plc and NEM Bank Ltd.

He said the ticket sale, which commences on June 13, will also take place in Abuja, Bauchi, Kaduna, Katsina, Jigawa and Gombe states to avoid the gate crashing.

He warned spectators against trying to force their way into the stadium without tickets adding that adequate security has been put in place to contain offenders.

Ahmad commended the Kano State government for its timely release of N18 million to the task force committee for smooth organisation of the qualifier.

The task force, on its part, has appealed to soccer fans in Kano to come out en-mass to support the Eagles.

Its chairman, Alhaji Muhammad Danyara, while speaking at a meeting with chairmen and secretaries of Kano Pillars FC and the Kano branch of supporters club, charged them to be prepared to give the national team their maximum support.

Insisting that "the support should be total," Danyara said the task forced is not only out to host the encounter but to ensure that the Eagles' come out victors.

The Pillars' chairman on his part pledged that football fans within and outside Kano will be mobilised to give support to the team.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.