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CALABAR HOSTS HOME MATCHES

The Nigeria Football Federation has said that Calabar will be the host of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations home qualifiers that will take place in June and also the 2014 World Cup qualifiers as well.

The games were initially expected to be held in Kaduna, but they have been shifted in order to do away with the security problems.

The Nigeria Football Federation has said that they have inspected numerous grounds before coming to the conclusion that Calabar will be the perfect place to host all these matches. The first World Cup qualifier will come in the form of a match against Namibia, while they will be facing Rwanda in the African cup of nations qualifier a few weeks later.

The traditional stadium where the home matches of Nigeria are played – Abuja national stadium – is in a very bad state at the moment. Estimates predict that it may cost as much as $ 50,000 in order to bring the stadium back to its former glory. NFF president Aminu Maigari has said that it will be very difficult for the football Federation to work on the ground in such a way that it might be ready for the matches in June. Hence, the decision has been taken to make Calabar as the home crowd for these matches.

"The NFF president inspected facilities in Calabar and it was deemed perfect for the qualifiers. A lot of things were considered and Calabar present the best of what the matches require. We are confident the team will not lack support from the fans but we thank the government of the state for their support. Although work has started on the pitch of the National Stadium, Abuja it won't be ready to host the matches. Fifa wants us to confirm a venue by Friday so we have chosen Calabar," said Maigari.