It’s unfortunate – NFF reacts to treatment of Super Falcons at Abuja airport

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on Thursday described as ‘unfortunate’ the incident that saw Super Falcons players and officials of the team, delayed for over 3 hours at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, on arrival from Côte D’Ivoire.

The Falcons were reportedly delayed for hours and subjected to traumatic experiences at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, due to some unclear COVID-19 protocols in the early hours of Thursday.

The footballers had arrived in the country a few hours after picking a priceless ticket to the African Women Cup of Nations tournament to be hosted in Morocco in July.

In widely circulated videos on social media, the footballers and their officials were seen going through difficult times at the airport.

They were delayed for about three to four hours owing to COVID-19 protocols and later the locking up of all terminal exit doors for a totally different reason.

One of the players, Uchenna Kalu, was seen lying on the floor, in pain and in dire need of medical attention.

Reacting, the NFF General Secretary, Mohammed Sanusi, in a statement on Thursday, said: “It was an unfortunate incident because we had our protocol officers on the ground at the airport and they did the needful before the team arrived. We are a responsible organization and the various National Teams have been going out and returning to Nigeria since these covid19 protocols, procedures and guidelines started. We’ve never been caught napping.

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“The issue had to do with COVID-19 protocols and we had no control over how things would be approached by the officials in charge at the airport each time. In this particular case, we fulfilled our part of the requirements. However, some other group of individuals arrived at the same time as the Super Falcons’ contingent and were bent on circumventing the process, and this compelled the health officials to adopt stern measures and even lock up some of their offices.

“It was beyond us, but we’ve already apologized to our players and officials over this incident.”

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