The Super Eagles boss has confirmed his side’s next outing will take place in the most populated city in the West African country
Nigeria national team coach Gernot Rohr has stated Joe Aribo and Leon Balogun will have an opportunity to get to know Lagos when they take on Lesotho in the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in March.
The three-time African champions will slug it out against the Crocodiles on March 30 after their encounter against the Republic of Benin three days earlier.
Nigeria have been playing their home games at Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo and recently at Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City, but will now return to Lagos after 10 years.
Rohr is confident the facility will be ready before the game and believes some of his players born in Europe will use the opportunity to discover the ‘crazy’ city.
“Yes, it’s official. We will play in Lagos against Lesotho on March 30, for the sixth and final day of qualifying for the next Afcon,” Rohr told Europe1, as per Football 365.
“It will probably be in an empty stadium. Teams are working on the lawn. I inspected it all. The traffic in Lagos is terrible, but we are promised an escort between our hotel and the stadium, or even to close the road to allow us to avoid traffic jams.
“The other day, I took an hour to make the trip. It’s a bit much before a game.
“The idea of playing in Lagos is good for the players. Some do not know this city at all, this is the case of Leon Balogun, Aribo or others, who were born in Europe.
“They will discover this crazy city, with 19 million inhabitants. It is important that we have security, escorts to move around and a good lawn to play. We are working on all these aspects.
“We know that a lot of work is done, that the lawn is watered every day and that machines have been ordered to mow the grass well.
“As for hotels, there is no problem, there are a lot of them in Lagos. We will have the “fitness” at the hotel, which we did not have on the previous day in Benin City.
“We will be very close to Benin. We risk making the trip to Cotonou, where we play our match of the 5th day on March 27, by boat, because the road is not good and the crossing only lasts two hours.”
Nigeria played out back-to-back draws against Sierra Leone in their last outings in the qualifiers in November which generated a lot of criticism from fans, especially after blowing a four-goal lead in one of the matches.
Notwithstanding, the Super Eagles still lead Group L of the qualifying table with eight points and need a win in either of their games in March to seal a place in the continental showpiece.