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NFF absolves self of blame in South Africa travel dilemma

NFF absolves self of blame in South Africa travel dilemma

The Nigeria Football Federation has insisted that the South African delegation to Nigeria ahead of Friday’s World Cup qualifier has no reason to cry foul after having to stay the night in Port Harcourt on Wednesday after arriving in Nigeria.

The team only flew into Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, on Thursday morning.

NFF’s Protocol chief, Emmanuel Ayanbunmi, said the South African Football Association informed the NFF that its chartered aircraft would depart South Africa on Wednesday morning by 8am and land in Lagos to undergo immigration formalities before proceeding to Uyo.

“The problem has nothing to do with the NFF,” Ayanbunmi said.

He added, “As of the time they said they were taking off, it took them further five hours to actually depart from South Africa.

“We were not informed. We had informed officials of the Nigeria Immigration Service and other relevant agencies in Lagos to expedite action on the formalities for them.

“It was less than two hours to landing that they contacted us to say that the landing right they got was for Port Harcourt International Airport and not the MMA in Lagos.

“We had to quickly get in touch with officials of NMS and other agencies in Port Harcourt and mobilize people to ensure smooth formalities for them.

“Having completed all immigration formalities, they wanted to take off for Uyo but were informed that the Obong Victor Attah Airport only operates from sunrise to sunset, and so that was not possible.

“The NFF immediately mobilised resources for them to comfortably spend the night in Port Harcourt.”

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