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FENIFOOT 'Not Responsible' for Congo's Withdrawal From 2026 World Cup Qualifying Match Against Niger

© SputnikIssaka Adamou, a vice-president of the Niger Football Federation (FENIFOOT)
Issaka Adamou, a vice-president of the Niger Football Federation (FENIFOOT) - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 06.06.2024
On Wednesday, the Republic of Congo's sports ministry announced its decision to withdraw the country's national football team from a 2026 World Cup qualifier against Niger, citing the opponent's failure to honor its commitment to play in Brazzaville, the capital of Congo.
Niger "has no responsibility" for the withdrawal of the Congolese national team from Thursday's 2026 World Cup qualifier against Niger, Issaka Adamou, a vice president of the Niger Football Federation (FENIFOOT), told Sputnik Africa.
On Thursday, June 6, Congo was scheduled to host Niger on the third day of qualifying for the 2026 World Cup. However, a few hours before the match, the Diables Rouges, through their sports minister, decided to withdraw from the game, citing a commitment to play in Brazzaville that had not been honored by the Nigeriens.
However, Adamou pointed out in an interview with Sputnik Africa that "it wasn't really Niger that had to move the match; it was FIFA."
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"It is FIFA that schedules the FIFA match. The proof is that on June 1 alone, there was a change in FIFA officials. We have written to all the parties to inform them of the new composition of the match officials, stating that the match will be played on June 6 at 17:00 in Kinshasa [the capital of neighboring DR Congo]," he explained.
In fact, it was the international body that took the decision not to change the venue of the match, insisted the third vice-president of FENIFOOT.
"As proof, the commissioner and the referees are in Kinshasa," the official insisted.