ExclusiveSports

Exclusive: How South Africa withdraw Super Falcons’ security, refuse to convey them to Nigerian Embassy after losing game

.... but didn't abandon the Super Falcons at stadium

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“Another incident that left me astonished is that SAFA did not make proper arrangements for Super Falcons at the airports; we had to sort ourselves out”

South Africa failed to reciprocate the gesture Nigeria gave them in their first-leg encounter in Abuja but did not abandon the Nigerian team in Pretoria, a Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) board member has clarified.

In an exclusive chat with Persecondnews,
the board member who spoke on the condition of anonymity said the South Africa Football Association (SAFA) was irked after failing to qualify for the Olympics and blatantly refused to convey the team to the Nigerian Embassy in South Africa and not to the hotel.

This latest disclosure is contrary to reports making the rounds that South Africa abandoned the Nigerian team immediately after they conveyed the Falcons to their hotel after the game.

However, the NFF source disclosed: “After the game, the Nigerian High Commissioner in Pretoria, Mr. Alexander Tope Ajayi, made dinner arrangements after qualifying for the Olympics after 16 years, and we informed SAFA officials of logistics to transport the team to the embassy.

“The SAFA officials made it known point blank that the arrangements were to convey the team from the hotel to the stadium and back to the hotel anything outside that we were on our own.

“The official also withdrew security details attached to the team. After such an intense game, withdrawing security details poses a security risk to the girls. What if we get attacked by fans who aren’t pleased with the results?

“Due to the inability of the SAFA officials to convey Nigeria to the embassy, the High Commissioner had to reschedule the victory dinner in the team’s hotel instead of the embassy, which is very embarrassing and unacceptable because if the reverse were the case, we would make arrangements.

“Let me remind you that when the Bayana Bayana team played their first leg in Abuja, they came in batches, and we provided transportation to every single player despite the financial consequences.

“When Ghana defeated Nigeria in the World Cup qualifiers, the NFF didn’t say that because we lost, we would withdraw security; we were professional from when they arrived until they departed.”

“The gesture of SAFA stunned me, but let me clarify: they didn’t abandon us at the stadium; a bus was waiting after the game to take the team back to the hotel.

“Another incident that left me astonished is that SAFA did not make proper arrangements for Super Falcons at the airports; we had to sort ourselves out with the help of the Nigerian High Commission.

“Nigeria is the big brother of Africa; we can also go that low, but we won’t because of Africa’s brotherhood.”

Persecondnews recalls that the Super Falcons of Nigeria were in South Africa for the second leg of the 2024 Olympics qualifiers’ third round.

The Nigerian team drew the game 0-0, which was enough to qualify for Paris 2024 thanks to their 1-0 win in the first leg of the tie at the Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja.

The 1-0 aggregate win gifted the Super Falcons their first Olympic appearance since 2008.

While most of the players and Coach Randy Waldrum left for their different bases directly from Johannesburg, eight players and the other team officials flew back to Lagos on Wednesday night aboard a South African Airways flight.

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