NFF bans visitors from Super Eagles camp

Published on: 05 October 2021

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has warned anybody without genuine business with the Super Eagles to stay away from the team’s Eko Hotel camp.

The Super Eagles are camped in Eko Hotel ahead of the first of two Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifying matches against Central African Republic (CAR). The Eagles will meet CAR in Lagos on Thursday and face the same team again on October 10 in Douala, Cameroun.

Victory in both matches will give Nigeria an unassailable lead in Group C of the World Cup African qualifying series.

As at yesterday evening, only four players were in the camp, but officials of the team told The Guardian that they expect the number to swell to 20 later yesterday.

The players already in the camp are Russia-based Chidera Ejuke, Chidozie Awaziem, who plays in Portugal, Germany-based Jamilu Collins and goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi, who flew in from his South Africa base.

Coach Gernot Rohr and his assistants, as well as the back up staff are also in the camp.

The team is expected to take their preparation to the Teslim Balogun Stadium today following the expected arrival of 16 more players last night.

A Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) official, who pleaded anonymity, told The Guardian yesterday that the federation has directed that anybody without an official business in the Eagles’ camp should not be allowed near the venue.

He said, “We want to ensure the players are not distracted from their main mission in the camp.

“We know some people will want to see the players, but this is not the time for that. We are here for serious business.”

The federation at the weekend drafted Union Berlin striker, Taiwo Awoniyi, into the Eagles team as a late replacement for Terrem Moffi, who has been ruled out by injury.

Apart from Moffi, Wilfred Ndidi, Oghenekaro Etebo and Alex Iwobi have all withdrawn from the games due to injuries.

Meanwhile, the NFF is still awaiting CAF’s decision on the stipulated number of fans to be allowed in the stands to watch the Group C game.

The federation explained, “due to the existing COVID-19 protocol, capacity of a stadium no longer decides the level of attendance. Only CAF can decide the number of fans to allow into any home game.

“We are however waiting for CAF’s decision even though it is almost certain now that match tickets may not be available to the public.”