Leadership (Abuja)

8 November 2012

Nigeria: Venezuela Friendly - Eagles in USA Visa Problem

Photo: Vanguard
Nigeria's Super Eagles training.

The American Embassy in Abuja is foot-dragging in issuing visas to members of the national team the Super Eagles preparing for the international friendly against Venezuela in Miami in the United States on November 14.

The experience has caused palpable fears for the team with the Senate President David Mark and Sports Minister, Bolaji Abdulahi, having to intervene in the matter to ensure that Super Eagles players and officials get the needed travel documents for the trip on Sunday. The two top government officials are said to be pulling the strings at the highest diplomatic level to ensure that the November 14 game materializes.

Team Media Officer Ben Alaiya said the Ministry of External Affairs had tried to make the issuance of the visas easy for the Eagles by issuing a 'Note Verba' for the team to the USA Embassy, but that was rejected, as officials of the embassy reportedly said the team was not entitled to such diplomatic treatment.

The Embassy has therefore fixed Friday, November 9 for the team to appear at its consulate for visa interviews while the team is scheduled to travel out on Sunday, November 11.

The anxiety in the camp of the team is that the visas may not be ready same day to the team which may upset travel plans already put in place by the NFF for the first international friendly after the team's qualification for the SA 2013 Nations Cup.

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