The national football team of Nigeria popularly known as the Super Eagles of Nigeria will travel to the Benin Republic by boat to play against the neighboring West Africa country in an Africa Cup of Nations qualification match.
The match is scheduled to take place in the country’s capital, Porto-Novo, on Saturday, March 27, 2021, at 17:00. Recall that the Super Eagles of Nigeria won Benin 2-1 in the first leg of the qualification round on 13 November 2019.
Nigeria are expected to win this weekend to cement their place at the top of Group L which they currently lead with 8 points in 4 games. So far in the qualification round, the Super Eagles have recorded 2 wins and 2 draws.
Their opponent for Saturday’s game, Benin Republic are sitting on the second spot on the group table with 7 points in 4 games. They have recorded 2 wins, a draw, and a defeat so far in the qualification series.
In the forthcoming game, the Super Eagles of Nigeria who are known to always travel by air whenever and wherever they have a game, have reportedly concluded plans to travel by boat to the neighboring Benin Republic.
The Super Eagles are currently camped at Eko Hotel in Lagos, Nigeria. They are expected to leave Lagos via the Lagos boat terminal to the capital of Benin, Porto Novo, on Friday, March 26.
They will have just a night to rest before they take on their host at the Charles de Gaulle Stadium in the country’s capital on Saturday evening.
After the game, the Super Eagles of Nigeria are expected to spend the night in the country and then travel back to Lagos to prepare for their next qualification game against Lesotho at the Teslim Balogun Stadium on Tuesday, March 30, 2021.
Earlier in March, the president of the country’s football association, Amaju Pinnick, has hinted that the Super Eagles of Nigeria will embark on their journey to Benin by boat which sparked controversy due to the security challenges bedeviling the country.
While stressing that he had carried out such a trip in the past, Amaju Pinnick assured coach Gernot Rohr and his boys of maximum security. He disclosed that he had discussed with Lagos state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu on the modalities of the trip.
He said: “Going to Cotonou by boat, I do that all the time when we were going to inspect, we did it, there’s nothing wrong in exploring other forms of adventure in Nigeria.
“There’s nobody in Lagos that has not been to Ilashe or been to Tarkwa Bay, so it’s the same thing, so what’s the big deal?
“Look at the Lagos boat terminal, it’s one of the best in the world that I’ve seen, so why don’t we use all those things if we have them?
“So it’s just a projection, we have not agreed on it. We are looking at going by road to Cotonou which is our next-door neighbor because even if you want to leave Eko Hotel to the Murtala Muhammed Airport it is half the journey of going to Cotonou, so why do you need to fly and go to Cotonou?
“We might either go by road, we are working with the Lagos State Government, from here I have a meeting with the Lagos State Governor.
“All those are things we want to explore and see what is best suited for that and once we say we are going by the creeks to Cotonou, of course, we’ll provide every requisite, will provide the enabling environment for them to go in terms of security, in terms of everything.
“But people should look at Nigeria beyond that, there’s no country in this world that doesn’t have black spots but we live and try to live.”