The Super Falcons players and officials were on Thursday morning stranded at Abuja International Airport for over four hours after arriving from Abidjan, Coted’Ivoire where they had gone to battle for fatherland.
On Wednesday, 23rd February 2022, the Super Falcons of Nigeria defeated the Lady Elephants of Coted’Ivoire 1-0 in a 2022 Africa Women Cup of Nations (AWCON) qualifier.
Victory in the second leg at the Stade Robert Champroux in Abidjan meant that Nigeria secured a ticket to the AWCON in Morocco slated for July this year.
After victory in Ivory Coast, players of the Super Falcons immediately hopped on a plane to Nigeria with the intention of celebrating the ticket in Nigeria but on arrival into the country, things turned sour as they were prevented from entering the country by the authorities.
Officials of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) demanded for a fresh COVID-19 test which must also be paid for by the Nigerian team but they the Falcons players and officials reiterated that they had undergone a COVID-19 test 24 hours earlier in Abidjan which was valid for entry into Nigeria.
The players and officials all tested negative at the Abidjan airport before they were allowed to leave for Nigeria.
With negative tests players were confused about the reason why the NCDC insisted on keeping them at the Airport for over four hours.
According to several reports, some players fainted at the airport while others were crying before they were released around 4:10 am early in the morning.
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) is yet to give an explanation on how the players had to endure the delay after participating in an all-important game but videos from the airport incident showing verbal altercations leading to unprintable name calling, have now gone viral.