Nigeria’s friendly against Burkina Faso, due to take place in Barnet on Monday, has been called off after seven Burkina Faso players failed to gain visas to enter the United Kingdom.
League Two club Barnet confirmed on Sunday night that the international friendly between the two African nations had been cancelled, though it is not yet known if a training game will take place given the Nigerian side are already in London following last week’s match against Senegal.
The Nigeria Football Federation claimed that the cancellation was due to the Etalons failing to gain entry to the UK and said that they were “extremely disappointed” by the failure to fulfil the fixture.
A statement from NFF official Chris Green read: "Seven players in the Burkinabe contingent failed to secure entry visas into the United Kingdom.
"The match in question is called off due to no fault of either the organisers or the Nigeria Football Federation. We will announce further plans for the Super Eagles' preparation for these two important qualifying campaigns in due course.”
The NFF went on to explain how the failure to fulfil the match came about, with the British embassy in Morocco – where Burkina Faso played the Atlas Lions on Friday – not putting their visa applications through in time for their planned flight to London. As a result, the Burkinabe Football Federation informed match organisers Eurodata that they would not be able to play.
"There is no British Embassy in Ouagadougou, and officials of the Federation Burkinabe de Football had been shuttling between Accra and Ouagadougou for visa processing," the statement read.
"FBF (Burkina Faso Football Federation) sources said the Embassy in Accra told them last week to proceed to Morocco (where The Stallions played the Atlas Lions on Friday) and that the visas would be issued there.
"However, the applications were still pending at the British Embassy in Morocco as at close of work on Friday, the last working day before match day in London.
"The Burkinabe Football Federation - on Friday 24 March 2017 by 7pm UK time - telephoned the match organisers [Eurodata] to say some of their players and officials were unable to secure entry visas into the United Kingdom and therefore would not be able to honour the match."
Nigeria could yet choose to put on an exhibition training game, with a decision expected to be made later on Monday afternoon.