Vanguard (Lagos)

Nigeria Vs. Malawi - NFA Assures Fifa of Adequate Security

Abuja — The Nigeria Football Association (NFA) has sent a detailed security plan for the 2014 World Cup qualifying match between Super Eagles and Flames of Malawi in Calabar to FIFA.

A statement issued by NFA's Media Officer, Ademola Olajire in Abuja on Wednesday, explained that the detail contained security guarantee during the match.

The statement said the plan was designed in conjunction with the office of the Inspector-General of Police.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the request for the security guarantee from FIFA was against the backdrop of Malawi Football Association's request for change of venue.

The World Cup qualifying match scheduled for the U. J. Esuene Stadium, Calabar, on September 7, is the last Group F match to qualify for the final round of the qualifiers.

"In the letter signed by the Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Philemon Leha on behalf of IGP, the police assured all stakeholders and lovers of football of adequate security.

"The 12,000-capacity stadium has hosted several international matches involving Nigeria in the past, including previous 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Namibia and Kenya.

"It also hosted 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Rwanda and Liberia.

"But the Football Association of Malawi, inexplicably, scurried to FIFA to express unfounded fears", the statement said.

It added that the security plan explained that apart from routine police lead escorts and back-up vehicles for both teams and match officials from point of arrival to point of departure, all hotels and training grounds to be used would be adequately fortified.

"Anti-bomb squad would be deployed to sweep and maintain all hotels and training pitches;

"Thr dquad would sweep and secure the entire stadium along with Police Elite Squad (Police Mobile Force/Counter Terrorist Unit).

"Adequate security would be provided on match day in the entire vicinity of the stadium and hotels of teams and match officials.

"There would be police escorts for teams and match officials to and from stadium on match day, among other measures."

According to the statement, Gideon Akinsola, Assistant Commissioner of Police, FIFA National Security Officer in Nigeria, will be on duty at the match.

NAN reports that only two points separate the Super Eagles from the Flames at the top of Group F.

The Super Eagles need only a draw to reach the 10-team final elimination round and the Malawians a win. NAN

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