Nigeria will host the 2017 African Cup of Nations qualifier between defending champions Cote d’Ivoire and Sierra Leone.
This was made known by the Nigeria Football Federation on Wednesday.
The game which comes up on Sunday, September 6, will either hold at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos or the Adokiye Amiesieamaka Stadium, Port Harcourt.
Sierra Leone and Guinea have been barred from hosting matches since the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus last year there.
But the NFF claim they have been cleared by health authorities to host the match in Nigeria.
“We are delighted to announce that we have received the go-ahead from the Federal Ministry of Health to host the match,” NFF President Amaju Pinnick said. “The Sierra Leoneans will come with a delegation of 32, made up of mostly overseas-based professionals, technical crew and officials of the SLFA, to be led by its president, Isha Johansen.
“We are happy about the go-ahead because, once more, our country has an opportunity to underscore its leadership role on the African continent, nay global sphere. The NFF has initiated discussions with the Lagos State Government and the Rivers State Government on preventive measures, such as keeping Sierra Leone’s small delegation in a special hotel where they can be monitored at all times.”
Pinnick stated further that the thought of hosting top Cote d’Ivoire stars most especially African Player of the Year, Yaya Toure, makes it worth the effort.
“We are talking of hosting the African champion team, with the likes of African Player of the Year, Yaya Toure and others, and this will certainly earn us commendation from CAF and FIFA.”