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PHOTOS: Falconets sleep on floor, benches at Turkish airport

PHOTOS: Falconets sleep on floor, benches at Turkish airport
August 24
10:19 2022

Photos of Nigeria’s Falconets sleeping on the floor and benches at the airport in Istanbul, Turkey, have surfaced and gone viral on social media.

The Christopher Danjuma-led girls crashed out of the 2022 Women’s U-20 World Cup in Costa Rica on Sunday after a 2-0 defeat to the Netherlands.

According to Colin Udoh, a journalist, the team had about three hours to rest after the game before they headed for the airport for a return journey to Nigeria.

Udoh said they were initially booked on Avianca, a Colombian airline, but their flight was changed to Turkish Air which resulted in a four-hour delay in Colombia.

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He added that the team thereafter missed their Tuesday connection flight due to a stop in Panama.

“We’ve been on a trip to Nigeria since 6:30 am Monday. We are currently sleeping at the Istanbul Airport awaiting a 6 pm Wednesday flight Istanbul time to Abuja,” a source in the team was also quoted as saying.

The players were also said to have had arrays of problems relating to logistics during their stay in the competition.

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Sources revealed that the “team was provided with limited equipment — just three sets of their green home kit and two sets of the white away kit. Players had to wash their jerseys by hand after every game and were unable to exchange kits with opponents.”

“They were also not supplied with official footwear and were asked instead to buy their own footwear.”

“Consequently, players — who are only getting paid $50 as daily match allowance and no bonuses  — borrowed money to buy sneakers and playing boots.”

Reacting to the development, Ruth David, NFF’s director of competition, said the airline refused to provide accommodation for the team due to a lack of transit visas.

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The development comes at about the same time when President Muhammadu Buhari vowed to resist any attempt to undermine football development in Nigeria.

Buhari gave the warning on Tuesday at the launch of the 10-year football development master plan in Nigeria.

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