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    • #6418
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      The Nigeria Football Federation has granted Gernot Rohr’s request to lead the Super Eagles against Poland in a friendly affair.

      Both teams are searching for warm-up encounters ahead of the Russia 2018 World Cup.

      Poland, who are housed in Group H alongside Japan, Colombia and Senegal, confirmed on December 11 the White and Reds manager Adam Nawałka had agreed to lead the Eastern European nation against the Eagles on March 23.

      Poland  open their  Russia 2018  campaign against  the Lions of Teranga in Moscow on June 19, and Nawalka believes playing a strong side like Nigeria would help him prepare his team  to match the physical style of play of the Senegalese.

      Nigeria are drawn in Group D alongside Croatia, South American powerhouse Argentina and tournament’s dark horses Iceland.

      The Eagles, who will be making their sixth World Cup appearance in Russia this year,  are looking to win their first game against Croatia at the Kaliningrad Stadium in Kaliningrad on June 16, and  Nigeria coach Rohr sees a friendly against Poland as good contest to prepare for the Croats, who have a similar playing style to the Polish.

      And the NFF, who had refused to confirm or deny that Poland had approached Nigeria for a friendly after  it was leaked to  football365.fr  early in December  by Rohr, revealed on Sunday the game would be played in Warsaw on March 23.

      The federation tacitly confirmed reported friendly fixtures against Egypt in May  and England at Wembley in June.

      “The World Cup is the big one next year and I believe we are going to be very ready when the tournament kicks off,” the NFF president Amaju Pinnick was quoted as saying on the thenff.com.

      “We have lined up four friendly matches starting with the game with Poland in Warsaw on  March 23. There will be other matches on March 27, May 28 (in Nigeria) and June 2.”

      Pinnick expressed the federation’s  satisfaction with on-field and off-field results for Nigerian football last  year, believing  the country would win more  honours this year.

      He said, “Largely, it was an excellent year, on and off the field. The bookmakers, analysts and football fans all over the world thought we were going to find it difficult in our World Cup qualifying group, but we made it to Russia with a match to spare. Now, we have already kick-started the preparations to the finals with a landmark agreement with the team on funds and renewal of the coach’s contract to keep him fully focused on the job.

      “Like the World Cup, qualification for the CHAN was also down to hard work and focus. We are ready to work even harder and focus much more ardently on our objectives in the year 2018, because we want to win the CHAN and achieve our best-ever outing at the World Cup.”

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