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Nigeria says Bolivia 'chickened out' of game over Boko Haram

AP , Thursday 19 Mar 2015
Nigeria
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Bolivia ''chickened out'' of a friendly in Nigeria because it feared an attack by the Boko Haram extremist group, the Nigerian Football Federation said on Thursday.

In a statement on its website, the NFF said Bolivia's ''excuses'' for calling off the friendly this month ''do not hold any water,'' and its lawyers will approach FIFA.

Bolivia ''chickened out at the eleventh hour despite signing a contract with the NFF and sending a list of its delegation for visa on arrival,'' the NFF said.

Bolivia's federation said this week that it did not want to put players and coaching staff at risk, and asked for the March 26 game to be postponed.

Islamic group Boko Haram has killed thousands of people in northern Nigeria and neighboring countries in a five-year insurgency, and recently pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group. The game was planned for the southern city of Uyo.

The Bolivia match has been canceled, and Nigeria will play Uganda on March 25 instead. Uganda also confirmed the game.

''They (Nigeria) have assured us of good hospitality, and security as well, and we don't expect any problems,'' Ugandan Football Association spokesman Ahmed Hussein said.

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