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U20 Women's World Cup

U20 World Cup: NFF points finger at Fifa for Falconets airport frustrations

8:27 PM GMT+4 24/08/2022
Nigeria U20
The country’s football authority has given their own account on the ordeal of Christopher Danjuma’s girls in Turkey

The Nigeria Football Federation has refused to take responsibility for the Nigeria U20 Women’s team's travel ordeal following their exit from the 2022 Fifa U20 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica.

Despite finishing as group winners after maintaining a 100% record, Christopher Danjuma’s girls crashed out of the competition after bowing 2-0 to the Netherlands in the quarter-finals.

According to multiple reports, the team departed for Nigeria after their elimination. Sadly, after more than 48 hours, Danjuma’s ladies were left stranded at Istanbul’s airport.

This has sparked inspired anger from fans who went on social media to lambast Amaju Pinnick’s board for the ill-treatment meted out on the U20 squad. However, the NFF has given an account on what went wrong.

“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,” an NFF statement made available to GOAL read.

“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 statement also clarified on the issue of the player’s bodywear: “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.”