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Page last updated at 13:39 GMT, Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Nigeria line up four pre-World Cup friendly matches

By Oluwashina Okeleji

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

The Nigerian Football Federation has confirmed four pre-World Cup friendly matches for the Super Eagles.

The NFF says the team will play against North Korea, Paraguay, Colombia and Ukraine on dates to be announced soon.

The Eagles' new coach Lars Lagerback had requested for the games before they head for the finals in South Africa.

Three of the matches will be played at yet to be decided venues in London, while the game against North Korea will be played in Pyongyang.

Coach Lagerback had said right after resuming work last week that, it was important the team plays these games in order to become a cohesive unit and the NFF agree with him.

"We're on the side of the coach," NFF Secretary-General Bolaji Ojo-Oba told BBC Sport "And we want to give him all the needed support expected of us.

"Considering the fact that there are no Fifa free dates between now and the World Cup, we have sorted out the top four games he craved," he continued.

Revealing the NFF's World Cup preparation programme for the Super Eagles, Ojo-Oba also disclosed they would play North Korea on 14 April in Pyongyang, North Korea.

"Only one (the match against North Korea) will be played outside of London," he added. " Hopefully we can get all our best players together in London.

"London is central and we are banking on their clubs to make it a hitch-free preparation."

The Nigerians will then face Paraguay on 15 May in another warm-up in London.

He added that Colombia and Ukraine will be their opponents on 26 and 29 May in the city of London before they depart for their final camp in South Africa.

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

Despite wide expectations in their homeland, the Super Eagles have never gone beyond the second round in three previous appearances at the World Cup (1994, 1998 and 2002).

But new coach Lars Lagerback believes the Super Eagles have the talent to reach the World Cup semi-finals in South Africa this summer.

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see also
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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