15 July 2018

Nigeria: Why Dozens of Nigerians in Russia for World Cup Now Sleeping On Streets

Photo: Nairobi News
Stranded Nigerians sleep outside their embassy in Moscow.

Hundreds of Nigerians who traveled to Russia for the 2018 World Cup are stranded and are now sleeping on the streets.

The fans entered Russia using Fan id's, which Russian government issued to foreigners touring to attend the Fifa World Cup. The Fan id's were a visa substitute in the course of the World Cup.

It turns out they are victims of an elaborate scam that promised victims jobs in Russia. But after they arrived, their hopes were dashed and they have discovered that they have nowhere to go.

Two Nigerian brothers mentioned they've been conned into coming to Russia with false hopes of turning into skilled footballers.

In Lagos, they were approached by fellow Nigerians and told that, if their desires of soccer stardom did not work out, they'd simply discover different well-paying jobs in Russia.

However, after touching down in Moscow, the brothers quickly realized that they'd been tricked.

"In Nigeria, we were told to call a certain cellphone number as soon as we arrived in Russia, however no person picked up on the other end, one of them said.

They then spent three days in a resort till they ran out of cash.

When they contacted the Nigerian Embassy for assistance they were turned away and ended up going to a Mosque for help.

The Imam gave them food and told them they could not spend the night in the Mosque and ended up spending the night at a local park were one of them lost his luggage.

Now there are more than 70 Nigerians camped outside the their embassy who are all singing the same song of being deceived into attending the World Cup on the promise that they might work in Russia.

The chief of a volunteer group a local news outlet that they started receiving news about the scammers as early as two weeks after the world cup had begun.

Most said they had been offered the Fan id's for USD 300 (Sh30,000) and round-trip tickets and told they will earn cash in Moscow.

However after arriving in the Russian capital, they realized that their paperwork didn't permit them to work and the scammers promptly canceled their return tickets.

On Saturday, a Russian NGO Alternative which has been feeding them outside the Embassy said the Nigerian Embassy is going to put the stranded Nigerians up in hostels for 2 days as they find a solution for them.

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