Falconets finally back in Nigeria after Istanbul airport ordeal

The Falconets arrived in Abuja in the early hours of today after going through tough times on their return journey from Costa Rica.

The Nigerian team had spent hours stranded at the Istanbul airport in Turkey on their way back from the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica, where they lost out in the quarter-finals to The Netherlands.

The Nigeria Football Federation shared pictures and a short video of the players and officials arriving at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in the federal capital today.

“Players and officials of the Falconets well received at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja by the NFF staff led by General Secretary Dr Mohammed Sanusi and sports minister’s representative Toyin Ibitoye,” the NFF wrote.

Sanusi explained the cause of the situation to the team, assuring them that the NFF had their best interests.

Ibitoye, who is a senior media aide to the minister, conveyed Sunday Dare’s message to the team and delivered to them a gift from his boss.

The Falconets had spent hours at the lounge of the Istanbul airport on their way back and photographs of them sleeping overnight in uncomfortable positions on benches and the floor were widely circulated yesterday.

The NFF later explained that a number of factors, including flight delays and Turkish policy of not giving Nigerians transit visas, let to the unfortunate situation.

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