FIFA Confederations Cup Preview: Tahiti v Nigeria
By Football News
Tahiti will play their first ever FIFA Confederations Cup game against Nigeria in Belo Horizonte on Monday.
The side, who qualified for the tournament after winning the Oceania Nations Cup, face a Super Eagles team surrounded by controversy who will only fly into Brazil two days before the match.
Nigeria's participation was brought into question after their players refused to get on the plane from their hotel in Namibia on Thursday following disputes over bonuses.
The team are believed to have requested 10,000 US dollars in cash and threatened to strike when this was turned down.
However, with the issue now resolved, Stephen Keshi's squad are scheduled to arrive in Brazil on Saturday to begin preparations ahead of their second Confederations Cup.
Tahiti will face a tough task when they come up against Nigeria, as the Africa Cup of Nations champions have gone unbeaten in their last three games, registering two draws against Namibia and Mexico and a 1-0 victory over Kenya.
However, with the Super Eagles seemingly struggling for goals, Tahiti will hope to limit them with their strong defence - which includes star player Nicholas Valler - and potentially grab a goal on the break.
Veteran Marama Vahirua - a former France under-21 international - joins up with his country for the first time and manager Eddy Etaeta will be hoping his decision to select the Nancy striker pays off.
Meanwhile, Nigeria forward Brown Ideye, who scored 21 goals for Dynamo Kiev last season, could be key to his country's chances, with AFCON top-scorer Emmanuel Emenike and Chelsea's Victor Moses both unavailable.