NIGERIA MAKE U-TURN ON ENGLAND CAMP
By Oluwashina Okeleji
BBC Sport, Lagos
Lagerback's World Cup plans are not going well.
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has cancelled a two-day training camp in England as clubs in Europe refused to release their players.
The Super Eagles' new coach Lars Lagerback had planned to bring the players together on April 27 and 28 as part of his preparations for the World Cup in South Africa in June.
However the timing of the camp has been questioned by clubs as it comes close to the end of the season, when many teams still have a lot to play for in Europe.
Also, a meeting earlier scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday in London will now take place in the Nigerian capital Abuja on May 19 and 20.
NFF spokesman Ademola Olajire told the BBC website: “As soon as we realised it will be impossible to get even a quarter of the players to London, it just didn't feel right to still go ahead with it.
“Sometimes you have to admit that you got it wrong, and quickly put it right.
“The players will now be hosted to a farewell dinner on May 20 in Abuja before heading off to London for a training camp and a friendly international against Colombia.
“This new move isn't too different from our original plan, we're much happier knowing the players will start arriving the country from the middle of next month”, Olajire continued.
Clubs including English side Everton, Olympique Marseille of France and Israeli club Hapoel Petah Tikvah had written to the NFF saying their players would not be released.
Nigeria appointed Lars Lagerback at the end of February to lead the team to the World Cup in South Africa in June.
The former Sweden coach replaced Shaibu Amodu, who was moved to the locally-based Eagles for the African Nations Championship after he failed to win the Africa Cup of Nations in Angola.
Nigeria have been drawn in a group alongside Greece, Argentina and South Korea at the World Cup.