* As FENIFOOT official invade team’s hotel
Nigeria’s Ambassador to Niger Republic, HE Abduljelil Sulaiman (mni) on Saturday described the Golden Eaglets’ ouster from the race towards Madagascar 2017 as an act of fate that players and officials must quickly put behind them.
The Diplomat who doubles as the chair of the Niger-Nigeria Border Commission offered the consolatory message to the crestfallen Nigerian contingent during a dinner he hosted for the team at their Royal Palace Hotel after the ill fated 3-1 loss to the Junior Menas of Niger.
“It is unfortunate that this kind of things still happen in football but I want you to forget about this and forge ahead in your careers because you are just starting out,” he advised. “I want to wish you a successful trip back to Nigeria and best wishes in your future endeavors.” On the Ambassador’s entourage were Embassy top officials, Messrs Abubakar Umar, Saidu Audu Baju and Muhammad Umar Gana, and Lt.Col Emeka Ugwoke.
NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, thanked the ambassador and embassy officials for the magnanimity to the Nigerian delegation to Niamey.
“Though we are not happy with the outcome of the match as well as the treatment by the Nigerienne people, we thank you so much for the amount of support given to us,” he explained.” Whatever is destined must happen, but I want to assure you that we would monitor these boys in conjunction with their coaches for future engagements. Thank you so much.”
In an unfortunate development, Dr. Sanusi was miffed that a member of the Nigerienne Federation invaded the team’s Royal Palace Hotel long after dinner was over (around 11pm) to drop off the damaged Video Record Camera earlier impounded by Nigerienne security operatives before the commencement of the match at the stadium.
In the ensuing melee, the telephone of Eaglets’ Assistant Coach, Atune Ali-Jolomi who was trying to record the infractions was forcibly taken and damaged beyond repairs. This could have further degenerated but for the vigilance of the hotel security personnel who promptly requested the attention of the Nigeria Embassy.