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World Cup 2010

Nigeria blame 'unforeseen circumstances'

June 8, 2010
By Soccernet staff

Nigerian officials have defended their decision to play last Sunday's warm-up match at the Makhulong Stadium in Johannesburg, claiming they had no alternative venue to hand.

Nigeria fans had invalid tickets for the game
GettyImagesNigeria fans had invalid tickets for the game

Trouble mars Nigeria-North Korea friendly
Diego Zorilla on the stampede

At least two dozen fans were injured during a crush as they tried to force their way into the stadium.

"We strived really hard to find a bigger stadium but unfortunately FIFA had taken control of all the stadiums from the South Africans," Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) board member Taiwo Ogunjobi told the BBC. "Sadly this incident occurred but it was surely out of our hands because we and North Korea wanted to have this game.

"We had everything in place to have a successful match but unforeseen circumstances beyond our control took centre stage. Our sincere sympathies go out to the injured, but we are glad no lives were lost."