NFF "saddened" by Falconets travel snafu, promises bonus payments

Thursday 25 August 2022

/ by Colin Udoh


Falconets on arrival in Abuja and received by NFF officials led by General Secretary Mohammed Sanusi

After a grueling travel schedule, Nigeria's under 20 women's national team finally arrived home on Wednesday afternoon and were received at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja by an NFF delegation led by General Secretary Mohammed Sanusi, who expressed sadnesss at the travel snafu experienced by the team.

The team spent 24 hours at Istanbul's Ataturk airport sleeping on the floor while waiting for their connecting flight to Nigeria after flight delays saw them miss their original connection

"We just want to let you know that Nigerians appreciated all you did," Sanusi told the players. "But we are saddened that on your way back, you had to sleep at the airport for reasons beyond our control. The arrangement was done by FIFA and you know what happened better than us."

Sanusi also promised the players that the NFF would pay them qualifying bonuses for the tournament 

"We want to assure you that the same time the Super Falcons are going to be paid, you are also going to be paid your bonuses."

Earlier on Wednesday, the federation released a statement explaining the embracing travel situation 

“The NFF did not book the team’s tickets from Costa Rica; FIFA did," Ssanusi said in the statement. "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.


“Our officials pleaded for compassionate transit visas so as to take the players and officials to a hotel inside the town, but this was not possible as 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.”


The federation also explained that the players chose to wash their jerseys by hand on their own, but was quiet as to why they had to buy footwear with borrowed money

 “The players were handed three sets of green jerseys and two sets of white jerseys, several house-wear types and training jerseys. The players opted to wash only their jersey top (no other stuff) because when the first set of body-wear was sent to the laundry people at the hotel, it returned with some FIFA and NFF badges at the front and names at the back peeled by the machine.” 

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