Ironically, the celebration that greeted the qualification of the Nigeria national women’s team for the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco turned sour when the team arrived Nigeria on Wednesday night.
As alleged in a now-viral video, officials and players of the Super Falcons claimed being held ‘hostage’ at the Nnamdi Azikwe Stadium, Abuja, on arrival from Abidjan at about midnight.
“Super Falcons players and officials after arriving in Nigeria at 12 midnight, were delayed for over three hours at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja on issues of COVID-19 clearance as the airport officials demanded bribes to clear the team that already took the mandatory Covid test to return home after the victory against Cote d’Ivoire,” one of the officials alleged.
Exhausted after a tough match in Abidjan where the Super Falcons beat their host, the Lady Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire, by a lone goal to progress to Morocco 2022, one of the Super Falcons players was seen crying while being consoled by her teammates.
The Super Falcons coach Randy Waldrum could not hide his anger either as he described the whole situation as frustrating and complete ‘nonsense’.
He said: “This is very frustrating, we had a two-hour flight from Ivory Coast and we have been in this room for almost two and a half hours.
“It is very frustrating to come back home and the players have to go through this. This is nonsense, all these COVID rules… we have already taken the test multiple times to be able to play the game, so I don’t really understand it, but it is very frustrating”
While official reactions are being expected from the management of the Abuja airport on what transpired, many fans have expressed reservation at the perceived shoddy treatment of the country’s worthy ambassadors, who have done well and deserves to be celebrated and not humiliated under any guise.
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