Friday, April 18, 2014

Kenya complains to FIFA about poor Nigerian hotel, food

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Kenya has protested shoddy treatment of her national team ahead of World Cup qualifier.

The Football Kenya Federation, FKF, has written to world soccer governing body, FIFA, to protest what it described as shoddy handling of the Kenya national football team, Harambee Stars, by the Nigerian Football Federation.

The Kenyans also protested to the Confederation of African Football, CAF.

The Kenyan squad flew into Nigeria’s commercial capital, Lagos, on Wednesday for its 2014 FIFA World Cup Group F qualifier against Nigeria on Saturday in Calabar.

The Kenyan delegation reportedly missed its flight to Calabar, forcing it to spend the night in Lagos.

FKF President, Sam Nyamweya, responding to press reports and complaints by the team that it was maltreated by the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, upon arrival in Lagos, said he had taken up the matter with both CAF and FIFA.

He said the Kenya High Commission in Lagos was also aware of the matter.

According to the squad, the Kenyan players and officials were booked into a sub-standard hotel in Lagos, as they were reportedly checked into a three-star hotel, instead of a four or five-star hotel, as stipulated by FIFA.

They were also forced to spend the night in Lagos, while the arrangement was that they were to be airlifted to Calabar by the host federation because Calabar is more than 200km from Lagos.

“As per the FIFA rules, if a match is to be played more than 200km from the capital, it is the duty of the host federation to airlift the visiting team to the match venue.

“We are in constant touch with our team in Nigeria; there was also a complaint over bad food and lack of a training venue in Lagos,’’ Mr. Nyamweya told journalists.

He also blasted the NFF for detailing a ‘junior’ official to handle the Kenyan team, instead of a substantive NFF official.

In the communication from NFF, the official kept on saying he had been ‘instructed’ to do ABC, suggesting that he was a junior official,’’ said Nyamweya. “These are very serious matters; that is why we have written to both FIFA and CAF.’’

But he was quick to assure Kenyans that the poor treatment of the team would not break its spirit, ahead of the match.

Nigeria, the reigning African champion, leads group F with four points, Namibia is second with three points, followed by Malawi with two, and Kenya with one.

The match will be the first assignment for Belgian Adel Amrouche, who took charge of the Kenyan team in February.

(NAN/PANA)

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