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2022 World Cup Qualifiers: Super Eagles are lucky not to play in Bangui - CAR’s Savoy

10:09 AM WAT 10/10/2021
Nigeria's Super Eagles
The tactician claims the Wild Beasts would have given the Super Eagles a tough time if the fixture was staged in Central African Republic’s capital

Nigeria are lucky to have Sunday’s 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifier played in Cameroon and not Bangui, according to Central African Republic coach Raoul Savoy.

The Wild Beasts will play their home matches of the qualification tournament at the Japoma Stadium, Douala, due to Caf's non-approval of the Barthelemy Boganda Stadium in Bangui.

As Savoy’s team gets set to take on the Super Eagles in Sunday’s qualifier, the Spanish-Swiss states that things would have been more difficult for the three-time African champions if the match was staged in the country’s capital.

“The Super Eagles are lucky that this match will be played in Cameroon and not Bangui. It would have been tough for them,” he told Goal.

“Nobody comes there to defeat us. The likes of Morocco, Algeria and Cote d’Ivoire have played in Bangui [and they failed to win].

“We are playing in Douala that has a very good pitch, so it will be easier for Nigeria to play us than in Bangui.

“For us, the change of venue will not be a problem for us because long before the stadium issue, we are used to playing away from home.

“Also, we have many of our citizens living in Cameroon, hopefully, if the stadium is open, we will have the support from fans.”

Following their shock 1-0 victory over Nigeria on Thursday at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Central Africa Republic occupy the third spot in Group C having garnered four points from three outings.

Asked if their current position would spur them towards looking a maiden appearance at the global football showpiece, the former Ethiopia and Gambia handler ruled his side out of contention: “No, the World Cup must be for Nigeria or at least a place in the playoff.

“We are still growing up and this is a very young team.

“Our main goal is to qualify for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.”

After trying Gernot Rohr’s men for size in Douala, Central African Republic are guests of Cape Verde on November 13 at the Estadio Municipal Aderito Sena in Mindelo.

Three days later, they face Liberia in their last game of the second stage of the qualification series.