Nigeria’s Super Falcons returned from a victorious outing to face the ignominy of abandonment by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) upon their arrival into the country.
After picking up a 1-0 win over the Lady Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire to complete a 3-0 aggregate scoreline and qualify for their 14th AWCON, the Super Falcons embarked on their trip back to the nation.
Upon their arrival at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, it was around midnight in the country. They were detained by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) who mandated that they must carry out COVID-19 tests before they are granted entry into the country.
Meanwhile, the players had had a PCR test in Abidjan just before they boarded their flight back, and they all returned negative tests. To the NCDC officials, however, this was inadmissible and the ladies would have to pay them before they could let them go, essentially making it into a hostage situation.
The Super Falcons were eventually released from the airport around past 4am to make their way into the country, not before a severely distressed Uchenna Kanu was writhing on the floor in tears.
The NFF under the leadership of Amaju Pinnick clearly did not make provisions for the arrival of the Super Falcons from Abidjan despite the presence of board member Aisha Falode on their contingent.
This is a new low for the ladies, being detained unlawfully in their own country, but it isn’t the first time the Super Falcons have faced embarrassment while on international duty. In 2019, the Super Falcons were verbally attacked by a Nigerian man while they made use of a public train in Vienna, Austria.
In the midst of all of this, the question of whether the Super Eagles can be subjected to this kind of fate arises.