By Olawale Alabi
Three-time African champions Nigeria and two-time world champions Argentina will meet in a mouth-watering international friendly in the Russian city of Krasnodar on Nov. 14.
A statement by the Communications Department of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on Saturday indicated that the match’s venue is the Krasnodar Arena Stadium.
It quoted NFF General Secretary Mohammed Sanusi as assuring that nearly all arrangements have been concluded with regards to the big match.
He however pointed out that the match was still subject to approval by world football-ruling body FIFA as well as agreeable flight arrangements.
“We have had long and fruitful talks, and we can say that we have an agreement.
“We await the approval by FIFA and also, we have to agree on the flight arrangements that would be comfortable for the players and crew.
“The match will come up four days after the Super Eagles’ final 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying match away to Algeria.
“We actually had offers from teams like Iran, Saudi Arabia and Morocco, but we have opted for the Argentines,” Sanusi said.
The Eagles will take on Algeria’s Fennecs in what is no more than an academic exercise, at the Stade Mohamed Hamlaoui in Constantine on Nov. 10.
Nigeria and Argentina had played two high-profile friendly matches in 2011, with the first in Abuja in June ending 4-1 in favour of the Super Eagles.
The Argentines won the second encounter 3-1 in Dhaka, Bangladesh three months later.
Nigeria have had to confront Argentina in four of its previous five FIFA World Cup appearances, starting with a 1-2 defeat in Boston, U.S. in the African team’s debut in 1994.
Argentina won another group phase clash 1-0 in Ibaraki, Japan in 2002, before winning a similar encounter by the same margin in Johannesburg, South Africa eight years later.
They then edged the Eagles 3-2 in Porto Alegre, Brazil in 2014.
Other famous encounters between both countries include two final matches of the Olympic Men’s Football Tournament –– Nigeria winning it in 1996 in Atlanta, U.S.
The South Americans won by the odd goal in China 12 years later.