This Day (Lagos)

9 November 2012

Nigeria: U.S Embassy 'Shocks' Eagles

Photo: Aliyu Adekunle/Vanguard
Nigeria 's Super Eagles targets 2013 Afcon final

Fears that the United States Embassy in Abuja may deny the Super Eagles entry visas to the country ahead of next week's international friendly against Venezuela in Miami, Florida, vanished as quickly as they came as the national team was accorded a grandiose reception by the Embassy and all players and officials granted visas on Friday morning when the team appeared to procure travelling documents for the friendly.

Led by Assistant Coach, Dan Amokachi, the team got to the 1075, Diplomatic Drive, CBD, Abuja , offices of the Embassy as early as 7:45am and were initially made to follow due protocols of the embassy but all that changed once the 12 players and officials got into the Embassy building, as officials of Embassy led by the Ambassador had reportedly passed instructions for the team to be promptly attended to.

The Embassy officials still followed due protocol but all members of the team were shocked at the convivial reception that the team got as both Americans and Nigerian staff of the Embassy swarmed the team for pictures, autographs and pleasantries that are quite uncommon at the Embassy.

Officials also wished the team well in the game against Venezuela and later at the South Africa 2013 Nations Cup.

Later the team was ushered into the US Embassy library, where an official of the 'Education USA' programme that seeks to empower all with good education revealed that footballers of Nigerian extraction should educate themselves in preparations for life after football.

"There is even opportunities for scholarship if such players and the general Nigerian public tap into the opportunities that are available," she said.

Brochures of the various programme available at the Embassy were thereafter freely distributed to players and officials of the team, before they departed the venue for their Bolton White Apartment camp.

"I'm totally shocked and positively excited at the treatment meted to us and I will convey this to our Head Coach, Stephen Keshi," Amokachi declared after the shock reception.

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