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Page last updated at 12:14 GMT, Wednesday, 4 June 2008 13:14 UK

Man Utd to play Pompey in Nigeria

Carlos Tevez
United fans in Nigeria will get the chance to see Carlos Tevez and co

Manchester United will travel to Nigeria to play fellow Premier League side Portsmouth in a friendly in July.

The match between the Premier League and European champions and the FA Cup holders will give Nigerian fans the chance to see their heroes in person.

The precise date and venue have yet to be determined, although the game will take place in Abuja.

United will fly in after the completion of their pre-season tour to South Africa, which ends on 26 July.

"Sir Alex (Ferguson) and the team are always keen to visit new places," United's chief executive David Gill told a news conference.

"This match will give an opportunity for our many fans in Nigeria to see the team in the flesh and will provide a climax to our summer tour.

Nigeria fans
Nigeria fans may soon be kitted out in red, not green
"Our own research has shown Nigeria is home to our fourth largest fan base - some 13.6 million supporters - so this is an opportunity for us to say thank you to those fans."

One player who will not be on show though is Christiano Ronaldo.

The player, who has been the subject of constant speculation about a move to Real Madrid, is in action with Portugal at the European Championship.

But even if he stays at Old Trafford, as United have stressed that he will, Ronaldo will not go to Abuja.

David Gill said the player would be allowed to rest after his exertions in Austria and Switzerland.

Portsmouth have several African players, notably Nigeria's Nwankwo Kanu and John Utaka.

United may have the Angola star Manucho with them by the time of the game.

He has been on loan to Panathinaikos, but is hopeful of moving to Old Trafford, once he has a work permit for the UK.

The match will be a preview of the Community Shield, the traditional curtain-raiser to the English season, which is played between the League champions and FA Cup holders.


see also
Ferguson turns sights to Europe
12 May 08 |  Man Utd
Kanu ponders new Portsmouth deal
22 May 08 |  Portsmouth
Portsmouth 1-0 Cardiff
17 May 08 |  FA Cup


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