Following the arrival of the Super Falconets from Costa Rica late Wednesday night, angry Nigerians continued to hit hard at the sports ministry and the Amaju Pinnick-led Nigeria Football Federation board following the team’s harrowing experience in Turkey, on their way from the U-20 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica.
The Falconets contingent, who boarded Turkish Airlines on Monday, was on transit in Istanbul, after crashing out from the tournament, following a 2-0 defeat to The Netherlands on Sunday.
However, following a flight delay in Colombia, the airline that was scheduled to fly them from Istanbul to Abuja on Tuesday, had left before their arrival at the Turkish capital city, with the entire team made to endure a frustrating 24-hour stay at the Istanbul Airport.
Early on Wednesday morning, the social media was flooded with pictures of the players sleeping on bare floor and chairs at the airport, which drew the ire of their compatriots.
The squad arrived Abuja late on Wednesday night, but Nigerians again vented their anger on the ministry and the NFF, after a video of the team’s arrival was posted on the Twitter handle of the Super Falcons.
“Our sisters, Falconets are back safely to Nigeria and were warmly received by @thenff General Secretary @DrmSanusi and Sports Minister representative, @Toyin_Ibitoye at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja,” the post read.
In the video, Toyin Ibitoye, media aide to the Minister of Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare, received the team on behalf of the minister, while also handing a gift to the head coach Christopher Danjuma at the airport.
Despite the reception, some Nigerians were still left unimpressed with the treatment meted out on the Falconets.
An angry user with the name High Chief Surugede, couldn’t hide his disbelief as he hit out at the ministry and NFF.
“Kai!!! I dey shame! See the way the money was presented making it look that the girls are at their mercy on-camera self. Even Ghana will not treat their players like this. @SundayDareSD, @PinnickAmaju, @thenff shame on you all!!!”
Another Twitter user, Adebisi Joe, reacting to the video posted said, “Those girls obviously are neither happy nor encouraged. NFF have always failed in their assignment.”
Charles Benson added, “The secretary is addressing the team with a mouth floss in his hand. Chaiii we can do better.”
Àmazíng Ròmèy added, “They say FIFA to be blamed not NFF. They’re not treated well and God is watching. Everyone sleeping on the floor the whole night in Turkey airport is bad.”
Referring to the Falcons’ unpaid Women’s Africa Cup of Nations allowance, Emmanuel wrote, “So Super Falcon’s bonus still under process up till now? So the Falconets had not been paid? May God bless the republic of Nigeria.”