Why Super Falconets slept on floor of Turkish airport — NFF

Super Falconets sleeping at Turkish airport

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on Wednesday said the Super Falconets were not stranded in Turkey as rumoured.

The players were pictured sleeping on the chairs and floor of an airport in Istanbul, Turkey.

NFF general secretary Mohammed Sanusi told PUNCH that the Falconets missed their flight from Istanbul to Nigeria.

“The Falconets were not stranded in Turkey, to say the girls were stranded is a mischievous statement. It’s the fault of the airline,” he said.

NFF spokesman said in a statement that the situation was due to the inability to secure transit visas for the team.

Olajire also reported Sanusi as saying that the tickets were booked by FIFA and not the federation.  

“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.

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

“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,” Sanusi explained.

Olajire also added that the NFF had implored FIFA to intervene with the Embassy of Germany to issue the team transit visas before their departure from Nigeria, for the team to travel through Germany, but failed to happen.

Sanusi noted that the Falconets had now boarded a flight to Abuja.

The Falconets left Costa Rica, venue of the 2022 U-20 Women’s World Cup, on Monday after crashing out of the competition.

They were beaten 2-0 by The Netherlands in the quarter-finals after winning all three games in the group stage.