Pictures of the Falconets of Nigeria surfaced online showing them sleeping on the floor recently and the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) came out to address the whole matter. The Falconets who did well to win their first three opening games but were knocked out by Netherland were seen sleeping on the floor at the Istanbul Airport.
The horrible sight sparked rage on social media on Wednesday with fans blaming the Federation for negligence. The Falconets were returning home following their exit at the Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica after bowing out of the tournament on Sunday, following a 0-2 loss to the Netherlands in the quarter-finals stage.
Why NFF Denies Falconets Traveling Business
However, NFF spokesman Demola Olajire has addressed the issue, he said in a statement on Wednesday that the situation was due to the inability to secure transit visas for the team. Mr Olajire also reported Mohammed Sanusi, General Secretary of the NFF, as saying that the tickets were booked by FIFA and not the federation.
He said: “The NFF did not book the team’s tickets from Costa Rica, FIFA did.” “FIFA also did not envisage the hitches that saw the team delayed for more than three hours in Bogota, and another one hour in Panama. By the time the team got to Istanbul, the flight to Abuja had left.”
He also said: “Our officials pleaded for compassionate transit visas to take the players and officials to a hotel inside the town, but this was not possible.” “They were informed that Nigeria had been removed from the list of countries whose citizens were issued visa-on-arrival in Turkey.”
“The airline then took the team to a sleeping area at the airport and gave them tickets to have meals every five hours.” “This situation has nothing to do with NFF, who had made arrangements to receive the team in Abuja before the complications in travel arrangements,” Mr Sanusi explained.
Mr Olajire also said that the they had begged FIFA to intervene with the Embassy of Germany to issue the team transit visas before their departure from Nigeria, for the team to travel through Germany, but this failed to happen.