Super Eagles unbothered by poor state of Huye Stadium pitch ahead of Zimbabwe clash

Still stung by their loss of two points to Lesotho on home soil on Day 1 of their 10-match qualification series for the 2026 FIFA World Cup ticket, the Super Eagles took to the pitch of Huye Stadium, Butare on Saturday evening for the official training, and refused to be bothered about the state of the artificial turf which is close to threadbare.

The venue will host Sunday’s Day 2 encounter between the Eagles and the Warriors of Zimbabwe, where another three precious points are at stake for the Eagles to roll their campaign back on track.

Captain Kenneth Omeruo told after Saturday’s training session at the venue which is 135 kilometres away from the Rwandan capital, Kigali. “We are on a redemption mission; a serious business is what we have come for. The pitch is poor but we can’t be bothered right now. We want to get into action and pick up three points.”

South Africa’s 2-1 defeat of Benin Republic’s Cheetahs on Saturday means the Bafana Bafana are top of Group C temporarily, before Sunday’s encounter which is the first Day 2 match in the pool.

The Eagles’ delegation flew into Kigali on Saturday morning, and then travelled two hours by road to Butare where they are camped at the Hotel Mater Boni Consilii. On arrival, the warm hosts handed the Nigeria team flowers, with wishes of good luck in Sunday’s encounter against the Warriors.

Sunday’s match will start at 3pm Rwanda time (2pm Nigeria time), and will be superintended by Djiboutian official Souleiman Ahmed Djama, with his compatriots Liban Abdoulrazack Ahmed (assistant referee 1), Rachid Waiss Bouraleh (assistant referee 2) and Mohamed Diraneh Guedi (fourth official) also in action.

Yohannes Ghirmai Ghebregziabher from Eritrea will serve as referee assessor and Raphael Lyson Humba from Malawi is the match commissioner.

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