Godswill Akpabio Stadium To Host 2026 World Cup Qualifier Matches

The President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Ibrahim Gusau, has revealed that the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo will host all the Super Eagles’ home fixtures in the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

Naija News reports that Gusau disclosed this on Friday when he visited Akwa Ibom Governor, Umo Eno, in Uyo.

The 30,000-seater ground has also been booked to host the Super Eagles’ final 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying fixture against Sao Tome and Principe on Sunday, September 10, 2023.

Recall that the same stadium was used for all Super Eagles home matches in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.

This news platform understands that the first two rounds of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers will be played between November 13 and 21.

The Super Eagles are drawn in Group D along with South Africa, Benin Republic, Zimbabwe, Rwanda and Lesotho.

The winners of the group will advance to the 2026 World Cup to be hosted by the USA, Canada and Mexico, while the best runners-up will playoff for an additional place in Africa.

FIFA Extends Lauren James’ Punishment For Stepping On Alozie’s Waistline

Meanwhile, the world football governing body, FIFA, has extended the punishment of Lionesses of England forward, Lauren James for stepping on Michelle Alozie’s waistline.

Recall that on August 7, 2023, the Super Falcons of Nigeria faced the Lionesses of England in the round of 16 of the 2023 Women’s World Cup.

The keenly contested match dragged on for 120 minutes without producing a winner and had to be decided via penalties which England won.

But in the last ten minutes of the encounter, Lauren James and Michelle Alozie were involved in an on-field challenge which the Nigerian player won. Out of frustration, the 21-year-old Chelsea forward stepped on the waistline of Alozie, who was lying on the pitch on her stomach.

Initially, the referee showed Lauren James a yellow card, but that had to be changed to a red card after the intervention of the Video Assistant Referee.

After the drama, Alozie took to Twitter to urge football fans to stop trolling the England international for her misconduct in the game.

James retweeted the tweet with a caption in which she apologized to the Nigerian footballer and to England’s fans, who were not happy with her conduct.

Despite that, FIFA confirmed today, August 10, that she has been banned for two games instead of one for violent conduct against Alozie.

This means that James will miss the England vs. Colombia quarter-final clash on Saturday, August 12. And miss the subsequent match at the 2023 Women’s World Cup if England progress in the tournament.

However, if England are knocked out on Saturday, Lauren James will miss any other international game England will play in the future.

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