Nigeria Football Federation match organizer, Jairo Pachon of Eurodata has picked Nigeria’s unprecedented 4-1 victory over Argentina as the toughest match he has had to handle for the country.
For over a decade, Eurodata Sport has been the agency in charge of organizing matches for the “Brazil of Africa”, as Pachon described the three-time African champions.
In 2011, the agency organised a top tier friendly against Argentina; one which coincided with the swearing in ceremony of the then newly elected President, Goodluck Jonathan.
Both events were scheduled to take place in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria and made for a hectic experience.
“It was Argentina in Nigeria, that was crazy, you know Argentina has standards for operating,” Pachon said in a chat with journalist Colin Udoh, when asked his toughest task as match agent for the Super Eagles.
“Simply because the then president, Goodluck Jonathan was being sworn-in, and all other African leaders were around, the airports were locked down. Receiving the Nigeria and Argentina sides was difficult but we had to explain to the teams, even the hotels were fully booked for the dignitaries.”
“We had to lodge the players in a double-bed room because all the hotels were fully booked, and this was my first time in the country. It was my first time in Nigeria.”
Meanwhile, Pachon picked the pre-World Cup 2018 friendly against England as one of the easiest his team has had to take care of. He noted this went relatively smooth because his team was only charged with handling logistics for media, officials and a few other people.
Quizzed on the reason why some Nigerian friendlies do not get broadcasted, the match agent blamed it on indigenous TV stations’ dealings, stating that their offerings are usually below the “market price”.
“It is not a problem of the organizer but the TV Stations in Nigeria, they almost want to have it for free. Sometimes you have to pay to the broadcasters.
“The Argentina vs Nigeria match in Krasnodar right was sold to a TV company Kwese Sports in 2017 at USD10,000 and they haven’t paid to date,” he revealed.
“That is why we often try to work closely with the federation, most importantly to get quality games to help with getting sponsors for the matches.”