Russia 2018: NFF should camp Super Eagles in South Africa, not Europe, says Idah

Nigeria’s Kelechi Iheanacho (14) celebrates with teammates after scoring the team’s first goal during an international friendly football match between Argentina and Nigeria in Krasnodar on November 14, 2017. The NFF is sure Nigeria will have cause to celebrate in Russia…next year / AFP PHOTO / Mladen ANTONOV

Former Nigeria international Peterside Idah has called on the Nigeria Football Federation to look no further than South Africa as the national team’s camp ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

The NFF is considering a number of European nations to camp the Super Eagles who are in Group D at next year’s World Cup along with Argentina, Croatia and Iceland.

One of the nations under consideration is Serbia due to its proximity to Russia, but Idah feels the similarities between the weather in South Africa and Russia around the period the World Cup would be taking place means there would be no better place for the Super Eagles to prepare for the tournament than in the Rainbow Nation.

“The NFF should please forget about setting up camp anywhere in Europe,” said Idah on Tuesday, on Channels TV. “Except they want to camp the team in Russia, there would be no better place than South Africa.”

Typical high temperatures in the Russian capital Moscow in the warm months of June, July and August are around 23 °C, but in Kaliningrad, where the Super Eagles get their campaign underway on June 16 against Croatia, the temperature ranges between 11 and 21°C.

In Volgograd, venue of Nigeria’s encounter against Iceland on June 22, daytime maximum temperatures average around a comfortable 28°C but in the evening it drops to 16°C, which is the average temperature in Saint Petersburg, venue of the Super Eagles’ last group stage encounter against Argentina on June 26.

However, in South Africa, especially in Johannesburg and Cape Town, visitors are unlikely to experience temperatures above 18°C in what is the coldest and wettest period of the year, which is why the South African-based Idah wants the NFF to consider the possibility of having the Super Eagles’ camp in South Africa.

“I am not saying this because I am based in South Africa,” continued Idah. “But even though Russia will supposedly be in summer around the time of the World Cup, the temperature will be much lower than what you’d find in other parts of Europe.

“But it will be similar to what we have in South Africa around the same period, and that would be good for the Super Eagles,” he added.

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