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Heavy police presence in Uyo for Bafana's away Afcon qualifier against Nigeria

By Nick Said | 2017-06-08 13:53:16.0

Nigeria’s squad to face South Africa in an African Nations Cup qualifier in Uyo on Saturday has been given the medical all-clear as the rhetoric of a must-win game coming out of the camp continues to take on a desperate tone.

Nigeria have not featured at either of the last two Nations Cup finals tournaments since they won the competition in South Africa in 2013‚ and were knocked out in the 2015 preliminaries by Bafana Bafana.

The Super Eagles have never before failed to qualify for three successive continental championships and to miss out again would be a huge blow to the country’s football.

"We need to win‚” Portugal-based midfielder Oghenekaro Etebo admitted to reporters.

“Coach Gernot Rohr has a good record. All we believe is that we are going to win."

Gent defender William Troost-Ekong says the fact that everybody is fit to play has created more competition in the squad.

"It is going to be a good game‚ everyone is fit‚" he said.

"It will be a healthy competition‚ everybody is working hard to justify his slot."

South Africa are unbeaten in 17 matches‚ but Nigeria are on a good run of their own‚ having not lost in 15 months.

They have won six and drawn one of their last seven games‚ with their last defeat in Egypt in March 2016.

Their previous home loss was in a friendly against Uganda in Uyo a year before that.

Meanwhile‚ authorities have confirmed that there will be a heavy police presence at the match on Saturday.

Akwa Ibom State Commissioner of Police Donald Awunah has ordered 500 specially trained officers to be on hand to quell any crowd trouble.

“The Commissioner of Police‚ Mr. Donald Awunah has directed the deployment of over 500 specially selected officers knowledgeable in crowd control and policing events to provide security before‚ during and after the match‚” a press release from the Akwa Ibom state government said.

“In addition‚ due to influx of football fans into the state‚ adequate crime reduction strategies have been placed to check crime and criminalities‚ throughout the state.

"It is also in addition to existing anti-crime measures in the state.” - TMG Digital/TMG Sport