Ahead of the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), Nigeria’s Super Eagles will now face the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone in a double-header qualification meeting in November, reports www.aclsports.com
Both teams were originally billed to clash in March ahead of the tournament hitherto slated for January 2021 but the emergence of the Coronavirus pandemic threw the entire footballing calendar into chaos with the main tournament moved by twelve months.
As Football Confederations and Federations across the globe realign with new realities in the wake of the pandemic, an Emergency Committee of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) on Wednesday ratified a new calendar which will supervise the conclusion of the qualification games for the two major tournaments in 2022.
According to the new schedule, Nigeria who have amassed maximum six points from their opening two games in Group L will face their West African opponents Sierra Leone twice between the 9th and 17th of November, 2020.
Nigeria will host the first installment of the double header in a Southern Nigerian city before Gernot Rohr’s Super Eagles fly to Freetown for the corresponding fixture.
The three-time African champions will wrap up their qualification schedule for the 2022 event next year March, with their two remaining fixtures away to neighbours Benin and at home to minnows Lesotho respectively.
CAF, on Wednesday also released new dates for the qualification schedule of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar where Nigeria will face Cape Verde, Central African Republic and Liberia in Group C.
The schedules for the two competitions have had to be revised in light of the COVID-19 outbreak which halted many sporting activities across the continent and beyond for some time now.
“The 40 teams in contention for the five slots for Qatar 2022 will commence the journey between 31 May and 15 June 2021 with the Day 1 & 2 matches. From 30 August till 7 September, the Day 3 & 4 matches are expected to take place with Day 5 & 6 matches fixed for 4-12 October 2021.
“The Playoff matches have been scheduled for 8-16 November 2021,” the Confederation stated on its website.
CAF also added that they will continue to monitor situations among their member nations as events unfold especially regarding the Covid-19 situation in the continent.