FIFA, Nigeria war over jersey
14 August 2011
FIFA have ordered Nigeria against their wish to play in all-white jerseys in Sunday’s U20 World Cup quarterfinal against France in Cali.
World football governing body FIFA Saturday insisted that the Flying Eagles all-green kits, which they presented at pre-match meeting and which were endorsed by the match referee, did not serve the “purposes of television”.
FIFA officials therefore asked that Nigeria being Team B in this match now play in all-white kits, while home team France sport blue top, white shots and red stockings.
The officials said both blue and green colours “clashed” as they are deep colours and so not television friendly.
They also said that going by the rule book, Nigeria registered two sets of jerseys to take care of such situations like this.
However, chairman of the technical committee of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Chris Green, argued that the team are disturbed by such a ruling.
“We are disturbed and upset by this order because it was communicated to us very late and if we are to go strictly by the rule, both colours do not clash,” Green said.
“However, we have accepted this decision in good faith believing that both teams will get a level playing field on the pitch at the very least.”
The Flying Eagles have won all four games they have played at Colombia 2011 in their traditional all-green jerseys.
Meanwhile, Sunday’s showdown against European champions France has sold out at the 35,000-capacity Estadio Olimpico Pascual Guerrero, officials informed MTNFootball.com in Cali.
“All tickets for this game have sold out. Cali has recorded an average of about 94 percent spectatorship for all U20 World Cup matches it has staged so far,” said FIFA media officer for Cali, Olivier Huc.
The Flying Eagles trained inside the arena Saturday afternoon with all 21 players in action.
Defensive midfielder Philemon Daniel wore a special strap around his knee after his injury from the England but otherwise he worked out fully with the rest of the squad, so also skipper Ramon Azeez and Terna Suswan.
Ahmed Musa was also part of training after treating a slight hamstring problem which prevented him from training on Friday.