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Page last updated at 18:49 GMT, Thursday, 25 March 2010

Nigeria World Cup plans hit snag

By Oluwashina Okeleji

Super Eagles coach Lars Lagerback
Coach Lars Lagerback and the Super Eagles set to play North Korea

Nigeria's World Cup preparations have suffered a jolt as two pre-tournament friendlies have been cancelled due to poor logistics.

The Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) had lined up matches with North Korea, Paraguay, Colombia and Ukraine before June's competition in South Africa.

But the Super Eagles have been forced to pull out of the friendlies against North Korea and Ukraine.

"The North Korea game is off and we are working on another country for that date in April," said Tunde Aderibigbe, the personal assistant to NFF boss Sani Lulu Abdullahi told BBC Sport.

"Importantly, we are confident and hopeful that a new country will be announced as soon as possible, so the new coach can commence his preparation adequately.

Similarly, the Ukrainian FA has also called off its planned friendly with Nigeria scheduled for 29 May in London citing 'delayed commitment' on the part of the West Africans.

However, Colombia and Iceland will be their opponents on 26 and 29 May respectively in London before they depart for their final camp in South Africa.

Aderibigbe added: "Iceland have replaced Ukraine now for the match on 29 May, there is certainly a desire on our part to find a suitable date to arrange another fixture for April.

"However, we won't be in a position say precisely when but we are having positive conversations with some countries at the moment.

"We know how difficult it is with the short time before the World Cup but we have so far sorted important matches for the Super Eagles."

Even though there is no official word from their Paraguayan counterparts, Nigeria are expected to kick-start their preparations against the South Americans on 15 May in London.

The Super Eagles are drawn in a group alongside Greece, Argentina and South Korea in the first round of the global tournament.

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see also
Nigeria to play four friendlies
10 Mar 10 |  African
Nigeria appoint Lagerback as boss
27 Feb 10 |  African
NFF chief explains Amodu sacking
09 Feb 10 |  African
Nigeria part company with Amodu
06 Feb 10 |  African

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