Super Hosts: NFF lodges Kenyan football team in 2-star hotel; team trains in primary school (Photos)

Posted By on March 21, 2013
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by Dare Lawal

Oftentimes we hear that when a Nigerian sports team travels to some African nation for a game, they are given a less than befitting reception. Substandard hotels, delays and other discomforts unfavourable for bringing out the best from the athletes are strewn their way.

But that has never been the Nigerian way. Our guests are usually treated with respect and well taken care of.

It seems all of that is in the past now, as the Nigerian famous hospitality has given way to neglect if the experience of the Kenyan national football team currently in the country to play a World Cup qualifying game against the Super Eagles of Nigeria, is anything to go by.

According to a report by Goal.com,

The Nigeria Football Federation abandoned the visiting Kenyan national team to its fate on Wednesday. The east Africans will play against the Super Eagles in Saturday’s 2014 World Cup qualification match in Calabar, Cross River State.

The Harambee Stars arrived at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos via a Kenya Airways flight on Wednesday afternoon.

On arrival at the airport, there was not one high ranking member of the Nigeria Football Federation to receive the team for a game of such international magnitude.

Expecting to be ferried to Calabar straight away in order to begin preparations for the crucial game, the east Africans were told that the only flight that goes to the city had departed and that they would need to wait till Thursday.

They then requested that a plane be chartered for them but did not get any response from an NFF official named Alataka who was communicating with them via telephone. They said that his mobile was unreachable for prolonged periods.

The team was later taken to the Silver Grandeur Hotel, around Isolo, to lodge for the night. According to the Kenyan head of delegation Hussein Terry, the hotel owned by NFF vice president Chief Mike Umeh is “a two star hotel” and it contravened the Caf/Fifa statutes that say any visiting international team must be accommodated in at least a four star hotel.

Terry also stated that as head of delegation, a separate saloon car should have been provided for him. However, the NFF did not do such and he had to share the team’s Coaster bus.

The Kenyans also complained of being left without a security official accompanying them.

The Football Kenya Federation sent a letter of protest to the NFF. In the letter made available to Goal.com, the federation’s secretary general Michael Esokwa asked the NFF to urgently address the needs of the visiting team according to agreed terms.

While not wanting to waste the opportunity of acclimatising in the humid weather, they decided to find a football field to work out. They were taken to the Ajao Estate Primary School in Oshodi.

There the team, under the watchful eyes of coach Adel Amrouche, did light jogging and stretching exercises on the dusty grounds of the primary school.

Amrouche later told Goal.com that he wasn’t fazed by the poor reception that his team had been given. “T.I.A,” he said.

“This is Africa,” he explained before walking into the team bus.

With the less than hospitable treatment that the east Africans have been given, many of the team officials are already talking about using it to turn the table against their opponents in Saturday’s encounter.

“We will spoil your party,” one official said. “That you’re the African champions makes us more motivated to defeat you.”

An accompanying journalist told Goal.com: “I love your country if this is how they treat visitors,” he said with sarcasm

The Kenyans will hope to get space on the Arik Air flight that departs for Calabar on Thursday in order to settle down in the Canaan City ahead of their game on Saturday.

See pictures of the Kenyan team in training.

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About TheScoop

  • Glory

    Hi Scoop & Dare Lawal,

    It is unfortunate that you could have written this article without adequately researching your material!

    Earnestly, if you want to be taken seriously, as an online paper, you must get your facts right. Or at least present both sides of a matter and leave the readers to come to their conclusion.

    Whatever happened to Investigative Journalism!

    I watched the programme ‘Soccer Africa’ on the Super Sport Channel(this is a South African Sports Channel) on DSTV this morning about 5.40am. Someone who had bothered to research what has succeeded to be a smear campaign on Nigeria’s hosting skills and the quality of our hospitability, informed me differently.

    I have a good mind of not sharing with you what I heard this morning, but as I am not sure that you will bother to research and report accurately on this subject, I will!

    For the benefit, of the misinformed readers of Snoop and any other News media for that matter, here goes:

    Firstly, The Football Kenya Federation whilst corresponding with the NFF before arriving in Nigeria, did not respond to how many people will becoming on their team – THAT MAKES PLANNING DIFFICULT, YOU WILL AGREE?

    Secondly, when they arrived they wanted to be flown on a chartered flight to Calabar – excuse me?
    Even the Super Eagles fly our domestic airlines like ARIK Air, etc,when they come into Nigeria.

    Thirdly, when the Kenyans arrived they stated that they wanted to ‘limber up’ as they had come off a long flight. The NFF told them that the National Stadium was available for that and they’d be taken there.

    The Kenyan Team refused the offer to use the National Stadium and instead told the NFF officials that they knew of a school where they could practise and wanted to be taken there.

    So, their wish was granted and as soon as they arrived at the schoolyard, they started to take pictures of their team limbering up in this school compound and posted the same pics on the internet.

    Whatever, informed these mischievious actions, we are not doing ourselves any favours when our own media cannot attempt to verify these claims before reporting.

    I do not like the NFF and how they run football in this country, and that is bad enough without the media helping to smear the already pitiable image of the NFF and Nigeria as a whole.