2026 World Cup: Nigeria return to slaughter slab in Cote d’Ivoire to battle Benin Republic after South Africa

For their 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers matchday four clash, Nigeria will face the Benin Republic inside the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.

As hosts of the encounter, Benin were looking to trade tackles with the Super Eagles at their national stadium, the 35,000-capacity Stade de l’Amitie in Cotonou.

However, the Benin Football Federation could not convince the Confederation of African Football, CAF, that the facility could host a match of that magnitude.

As a result, the Benin FF has been forced to move the gameweek four tie to neighbouring Cote d’Ivoire, where they will hope to have enough local support to inspire them to a memorable win over Nigeria.

Interestingly, the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium in Abidjan is familiar territory to the Super Eagles.

Nigeria played three of their seven games at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations earlier this year at the stadium, winning all three while scoring four goals and conceding none.

The Super Eagles’ first game at the venue was a 1-0 win over Guinea-Bissau in their last group match on January 22 before shooting down Cameroon 2-0 in the first knockout round five days later.

The same stadium hosted the quarterfinals meeting between Nigeria and Angola, which the Super Eagles edged by the slimmest of winning margins.

It is noteworthy that Atalanta forward Ademola Lookman is Nigeria’s chief butcher at this famous slaughter slab, as he scored three of Nigeria’s four goals there. 

Before facing Benin, Nigeria will have their work cut out against AFCON bronze medalist South Africa also in June.

The two nations, who met in a gripping tie at the semifinals of the continental championship, will go again for each other’s jugular at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo, on Friday, June 7.

It is a must-win clash for Nigeria as the Super Eagles are yet to record a victory in the qualifiers after they only managed to draw their opening two games against Lesotho and Zimbabwe.

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