President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, has revealed that the Super Eagles’ first 2022 World Cup qualification game will be played at the refurbished Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin city.
The president made this revelation after the AGA meeting which was hosted in the city of Benin on Tuesday, December 17, 2019.
The top 26 ranked team in Africa and the 14 teams that qualified from the first round will be drawn into ten groups (four teams in each) and will kick off the second phase of qualification in March next year.
“You cannot talk about Nigerian football without talking about Edo,” Pinnick told Brila.net.
"Benin city has been the home of football from the previous years till now and a lot of the super Eagles players come from Edo State.
“At a point in time, you have to find Premier League clubs like Flash Flamingoes, Bendel United, Bendel Insurance. All these clubs were in Benin and they paraded most of the Super Eagles players so football is coming home and that’s why we are bringing the first World Cup qualifying match to Benin City.”
The last time Nigeria played a game at the now renovated 20,000 capacity stadium was an international friendly against Botswana in 2011 which ended 0-0.
It had also hosted some other top games before that time, notably the 1-0 victory against Madagascar during the qualifiers for the 2002 AFCON and the decisive 2004 AFCON qualifier against Angola which ended 2-2.