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Ebola: NFF speaks on friendly match with DR Congo

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Nigeria’s friendly match against the DR Congo is not under threat in spite of the Ebola outbreak in the country, the Nigeria Football Federation’s (NFF) 1st Vice-President, Seyi Akinwumi has said.

Akinwumi said on Monday in Lagos that necessary precautionary measures had been put in place to forestall transmission of the deadly disease into Nigeria.

The football governing body had lined up some friendly matches as build up to the Super Eagles participation in the Russia 2018 World Cup.

In the friendly matches, the Super Eagles are expected to play DR Congo on May 28, in Port Harcourt before the warm-up game against the Three Lions of England on June 2 at Wembley Stadium.

Before the DR Congo match, the three-time African champions had defeated the national team of Argentina 4-2 in the battle of Krasnodar, Russia, then beat Poland 1-0 at the Municipal Stadium, Wrockaw, Poland.

The Gernot Rohr boys however lost to the national team of Serbia 0-2 at the Hive Stadium, England. The third friendly match for the Eagles against the Diables Rouges (Red Devils) of Congo has been a speculation for cancellation due to the deadly Ebola disease outbreak in the country.

The fears of many football enthusiasts was however allayed by NFF as Akinwumi said there was no need to panic over the friendly match saying that adequate measure had been put in place to forestall transmission of the disease into Nigeria.

“We will not jeopardise the health of Nigerians, we have notified the DR Congo Football Federation, while both presidents have met at the CAF committee and finalised issues. “Beyond that, we have written to the Ministry of Health to have all those coming to Nigeria tested. However, most of the Dr Congo players for the match are foreign-based. “To assure Nigerians, we will not risk anything for the match, there should be no fear at all. “We are 100 per cent sure that everyone coming for the match will be subjected to test in Congo before coming and Nigeria before they go out,’’ he said.

Akinwumi said that the Ebola outbreak in DR Congo did not affect the whole country but some villages and that would not stop the federation from doing the needful.

“We are told that the news of Ebola outbreak in DR Congo happened in the remote village and not in the whole country, but we are also cautious about the health of Nigerians.

“We want the best for the national team in terms of preparation and prosecution of the World Cup proper. The fund raising we are planning for the team is a bonus too,’’ he said.

The Super Eagles are expected to fly out to their camp in Austria on June 3 from London. They are to play another final friendly against the Czech Republic on June 6 in Austria.

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