Huge blow for Super Eagles ahead of AFCON 2024 final

The Super Eagles were scheduled to play against the reigning world champions, Argentina, in China next month.

However, the game has been cancelled by the Chinese authorities.

Lionel Messi was expected to participate in an exhibition match between Inter Miami and a Hong Kong XI; however, his absence stirred frustration and disappointment among supporters, especially considering Messi's involvement in a friendly against Vissel Kobe in Japan just days later.

This disillusionment carried over to arrangements for Argentina’s forthcoming matches against Nigeria in Hangzhou and Cote d’Ivoire in Beijing.

Messi SUper Eagles
Photo by Icon Sport

After Messi's no-show in Hong Kong, event organisers proposed a 50% reimbursement for ticket holders, but discontent persisted.

What did the statement say about Super Eagles match?

The Hangzhou authorities, in their statement, clarified that despite discussions between a corporation and the Argentina team regarding the friendly match, prevailing conditions have rendered it impractical to proceed with hosting the event.

Their statement read: “As a commercial event, a company and the Argentinean soccer team negotiated that the team would play a friendly match in March this year in the city of Hangzhou. In view of the current well-known reasons, according to the competent authorities, conditions to hold the friendly match are not mature, therefore (we) have decided to cancel it.”

According to an Argentine official speaking to the press, he acknowledged being informed of the game's suspension, expressing that it is a sensitive issue.

Argentina to shop for new venue for Super Eagles clash?

Following the cancellation of their planned friendly match in Hangzhou due to prevailing circumstances, the Argentine national football team finds itself in search of an alternative venue.

With the initial fixture against a local company in Hangzhou now off the table, Argentina's football authorities are exploring options to reschedule the match at a different location.

Argentina is scheduled to play against Ivory Coast, the opponents of the Super Eagles in the 2024 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON 2024) final scheduled for Sunday.

However, the status of this fixture in March is uncertain, and it remains to be seen whether it will proceed as planned.

Avatar photo
Godfred Budu

Godfred Budu is a purpose-driven Ghanaian sports writer with a sharp eye for excellence. He has had stints with and He loves to talk and write about football on the African continent.