By Owolabi Abiola
The Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Nigeria, Nikolay Udovichenko has said that he is looking forward to Nigeria and Russia clashing in the final of the 2018 FIFA World Cup at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on Sunday, 15th July 2018.
“I want to congratulate the NFF and the Super Eagles for Nigeria’s qualification for the FIFA World Cup. Please be assured that the Russian Federation is fully ready to host the competition. We have received a lot of requests from the host cities on what special characteristics the Nigerian team have. They want to be fully prepared in all aspects to receive the Super Eagles.
“From the depth of my heart, I am hoping that your team makes it to the final in Moscow on 15th July, to play against Russia.”
Udovichenko spoke on Tuesday afternoon as he received a delegation from the Nigeria Football Federation, led by its President, Mr. Amaju Melvin Pinnick.
Pinnick thanked the Ambassador for his good wishes, while noting that Nigeria’s first feel of Russian soil ahead of the FIFA World Cup ended in a sweet victory over Argentina in a friendly match in Krasnodar. “We helped you to beat Argentina because they had beaten your team in another friendly a few days earlier.
“We have good relationship with the Russian Football Federation, and we desire to establish good relationship with your embassy here so that ourselves and other Nigerians going to the FIFA World Cup will have no problems with regards to entry visa.”
Pinnick stated that the NFF has come forward this early to parley with the embassy because the football body is keen to have all visa applications treated and dispensed with latest end of April 2018.
Consul of the Embassy, Mr. Diuitri explained that football fans wishing to be at the FIFA World Cup finals in 2018 must have their match tickets and Fan ID, “which will enable them to travel round Russia during the finals at no extra cost.”
Also at the meeting were Dr. Mohammed Sanusi (NFF General Secretary), Ivan Lydkin (attaché), Ademola Olajire (Director of Communications), Tunde Aderibigbe (Head of Protocol), Calistus Ebare (Pinnick’s media aide) and Ayo Olu Ibidapo (NFF Communications Department).