FRIENDLIES: Eagles lament UK visa hitches

…as NFF moves to dump London

Federation, players opt for Schengen countries

Super Eagles may not use the United Kingdom as venue for their international friendly matches again as many players complained of having difficulties securing entry visas to London where they played their last game against Senegal. The team’s second friendly match against Burkina Faso was cancelled after about seven of the Stallions players failed to secure visas to London. Many Nigerian stars also struggled to make it to the United Kingdom.

New Telegraph learnt that the players were so unhappy about the development and secured promise from the President of Nigeria Football Federation Amaju Pinnick who told them during a meeting that there wouldn’t be a recurrence of that.

Our correspondent also learnt that the NFF had taken a decision to have the team’s subsequent friendlies in Schengen states which provides flexible ways in acquiring visas for sides playing matches in their countries.

A source told our correspondent that France, Germany and Belgium are the countries under consideration and the federation had already mandated its Match Agent Jairo Pachon of Eurodata Sport to work in that direction. Coach Gernot Rohr also confirmed this development in an interview with a UK-based website that Eagles would avoid future friendly internationals in London.

“Yes, yes, because it’s too complicated to get the visas, you know,” Rohr, 63, told Empowersmag. com when asked after the training game if Nigeria could  stay away from friendlies in the U.K. in future. “I think it’s better to stay in Schengen, in Europe than go to London where the people have problems.

Even some players in our team couldn’t come, you know. They didn’t get the visa in time.” Rohr pointed out the positive aspects of Nigeria’s short trip to London, though, noting that the training exercise had allowed him to make a better evaluation of his squad.

“We tried to find another team but it was too late,” the German said. “We had one very good game against the Senegalese. The players were so strong, so powerful, we learned a lot. Now we look forwards to our next games. “The second game, between us, I could see everybody,” Rohr added. “Some players need to play because they don’t play all the time at their clubs. It was an opportunity for them.”


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