Arsenal will play Nigeria after organisers DanJan finally confirmed their international opponents for the pre-season friendly in Abuja National Stadium on 5th August.
The visit will represent the first time the Gunners have travelled to Africa since Arsene Wenger took charge in 1996 and forms the concluding leg of the 2012 Asia tour. The club’s previous match on the continent, a 2-0 win over Manchester United, took place in South Africa in July, 1993.
Nigeria, currently ranked 60th in the world, should make for an exciting challenge for Arsenal with Stephen Keshi’s side brimming with talent plying their trade across Europe.
Speaking about the fixture, David Omigie of organisers DanJan Sports revealed:
“The NFF have agreed that the country will present a strong side as coach Stephen Keshi continues his development process.
“The Arsenal manager [Arsene Wenger] will also use this game to showcase his full squad for the 2012/2013 football season.”
Arsenal’s visit represents a great opportunity for the club’s burgeoning support in west Africa to watch their heroes in the flesh for the first time and lays the groundwork for expanding the club’s brand across the globe.
Arsenal’s pre-season friendly schedule
Saturday 14th July
The Markus Liebherr Cup
Vs Anderlecht*, KO 6.45pm
Vs Southampton, KO 8pm
St Mary’s Stadium, Southampton
Tuesday 24th July
Vs Malaysia XI, KO – 2.45PM UK time
Bukit Jalil Stadium, Kuala Lumpur.
Friday 27th July
Vs Manchester City, KO – 2PM UK time
‘Bird’s Nest’ Stadium, Beijing.
Sunday 29th July
Vs Kitchee FC, KO – 10AM UK time
Hong Kong Stadium, Hong Kong.
Sunday 5th August
Vs Nigeria, KO – TBC
Abuja National Stadium, Nigeria.
Sunday 12th August
Vs FC Cologne, KO 4PM UK time
Rhein Energie Stadium, Germany.
* SPL side Rangers had been penciled in as opponents, although due to their well publicised financial problems Southampton have confirmed that they have now been replaced by the Belgians.