Arsenal finally confirm pre-season game in Nigeria


English side Arsenal Football Club has officially confirmed that the first-team squad will travel to Nigeria this summer for a pre-season match in Abuja on August 5.

In what will be the club's first match on Nigerian soil, Arsène Wenger’s side will play at the 60,000 capacity Abuja National Stadium.

According to the tour organisers, DanJan Sports, Arsenal's opposition will be confirmed soon and is likely to be a leading African national team.

David Omigie of DanJan Sports, a Fifa-licensed match agent said: "We are delighted to announce that everything has been sorted between the club and DanJan Sports."

"We are working on the opposition and once that is finalised we will announce it to the public in conjunction with the London club.

"Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, and the club with arguably the biggest fan base in the country is visiting in August."

According to Arsenal statement on its official website "The Club last visited Africa during a tour to South Africa in July 1993, and is returning as a result of the fantastic support which exists for the team, not only in Nigeria, but across the entire continent."

The club traditionally hosts an annual pre-season tournament at the Emirates Stadium, but they opted to postpone the event for a year because of the 2012 London Olympics.

As part of their preparation for the 2012/13 season, the club have opted to connect with their huge fan base in Africa, by visiting the continent.

The visit to Nigeria will conclude an exciting pre-season tour schedule for Arsenal, who return to both China and Malaysia in July, following the success of last term’s Asia Tour.

In July 2008, DanJan Sports brought two other English clubs, Manchester United and Portsmouth, to the Nigerian capital Abuja for pre-season friendly.

Manchester United took on Portsmouth before Pompey then played against Nigeria Premier League (NPL) side Kano Pillars.

But DanJan Sports plan to go a step further this time around.

"We learned a lot from the 2008 tour and this one is going to be bigger," Omigie said.

"Mr Arsène Wenger wanted a detailed plan and information. Facilities and other areas were well covered by the club.

"This is the beginning of big things between the club and the continent of Africa.

The visit to Nigeria will conclude an exciting pre-season tour schedule for Arsenal, who return to both China and Malaysia in July, following the success of last term’s Asia Tour.

Further details regarding the match in Nigeria will be announced by the organisers as soon as they are confirmed.

According to speculations in the local media, one of Ghana, Zambia, South Africa, Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Egypt are the potential opponents of the Gunners.
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