The National Association of Nigerian Footballers (NANF), yesterday, called for the immediate cancellation of the Super Eagles friendly match against the Leopards of DR Congo, following the recent outbreak of the dreaded Ebola virus in the East African country.
The match is slated for Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on May 28.
The President of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, on Friday insisted that the friendly game with DR Congo would go ahead despite the anxiety raised by the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Folorunso Adewole.
However, NANF President, Harrison Jala, told The Guardian that, “Going ahead with the match with DR Congo is a serious risk for the country, which spent billions of naira not too long ago to contain the Ebola pandemic when a Liberian, one Mr. Sawyer, sneaked into Lagos with the virus.
So, nobody should expose our players, coaches and the fans to such a risk at this point in time.”
Jala added that the anxiety expressed the health minister was enough for every right-thinking Nigerian to cancel all engagements with citizens of that country until the World Health Organisation (WHO) declares DRC free from Ebola.
“So, in view of the prevailing circumstances, we demand that the match with DR Congo be called off. I want to add that it is unacceptable for the NFF to risk the lives of our players, and that NANF will challenge any attempt to proceed with match,” Jala stated.
The Super Eagles will clash with England’s Three Lions at Wembley Stadium, London, on June 2, before squaring up against Czech Republic, in Vienna, on June 6.